The UK data protection watchdog has stated Google must remove all links to articles which were initially removed from search results under the ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling.The Information Commissioner’s Office issued the order on August 18, and has given Google 35 days to remove the links. However, Google has the right to appeal the notice to the General Regulatory Chamber, if they wish.Commissioner, David Smith had this to say in his report:“The European court ruling last year was clear that links prompted by searching on an individual’s name are subject to data protection rules. That means they shouldn’t include personal information that is no longer relevant.”The argument is that by Google linking to an article about a specific ‘right to be forgotten’ case, it was contributing further to the chain of links. Therefore, if a story about a specific takedown request made its way to any news site, Google more than likely would have linked to that article when someone searched a specific name.Google initially refused to remove search results to stories about the new privacy law, explaining that the censorship of this content is “a matter of significant public importance.”
At the time, the Information Commissioner’s office agreed; however, the argument around the case in question was about having the complainant’s information out in the public domain against his will.Back in May 2015, Google released some details on the petitions it received to remove specific URLs from its search engine.In the transparency report, the Internet giant states it evaluated nearly one million (925,586) URLs for removal, dating back to the launch of its official request process on May 29, 2014.Of the hundreds of thousands of requests the company received, only 41.3 percent of them resulted in the removal of a link from search procedures.