Google launches right to be forgotten form

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Right to be forgotten form introduced

Google has launched a webform where European citizens can request that links to personal data are taken away from search results.

This service comes after the European Union court ruling earlier this month, giving citizens the right to be forgotten. People can now ask search engines to remove results containing their name that are "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed."

Google will be assessing each request individually. When looking at each form, Google has said it will "assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public's right to know and distribute information." It will take into consideration whether the information linked to in search engines is outdated or contains information that is in the public's interest prior to removing the link.

What's on the webform?

The right to be forgotten form contains a box where people can enter the objectionable links that they want removed. There is also a space where people can provide an explanation of why they want a link to be taken away from search engines.

When submitting the form, a person also needs to include a digital copy of official photo identification and select their country of origin to help Google prevent any fraudulent requests being made.

Google's Larry Page has said that while the company will comply with the EU ruling, he is concerned that the right to be forgotten will potentially harm innovation. He has also suggested that the ruling could cause other governments "that aren't as forward and progressive as Europe to do bad things".

Adrian Mursec, head of development at theEword, has said: "Google needs to strike the right balance when processing the right to be forgotten forms, making sure that it adheres to the ruling without negatively impacting on the user experience in any way."