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Google says it needs weeks to devise plan to ‘forget’ people after European court ruling

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, May 16, 2014 19:34 EDT
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A person prepares to search the Internet using the Google search engine, on May 14, 2014, in Lille [AFP]
 
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Google said Friday it could take weeks to devise a way to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling that it honor requests to be “forgotten.”

Word that the U.S. Internet titan is grappling with how to implement the judicial order came as it fielded requests from people who want links to deeds or critics deleted from search results.

Google did not disclose details about requests, but online reports indicated they include a pedophile and a politician who want references to their pasts to vanish.

The EU’s top court ruled Tuesday that individuals have the right to ask the U.S. Internet giant to delete personal data and “be forgotten” online under certain circumstances when their personal data becomes outdated or inaccurate.

The decision has raised concerns about online censorship and how Internet search works in various countries.

Complicating factors include varying languages and the need to review requests to determine when online posts targeted for removal are actually in the public interest.

Google said it could take “several weeks” to work out a system to comply with the ruling.

Analysts said the global impact of the ruling was not immediately clear, but that it could raise some tricky issues in Europe and beyond.

Worries also arose that letting people edit their online histories could hamper investigative journalism.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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