Right-To-Be-Forgotten One Year Later: 70 Percent Of Requests Refused


It was roughly one year ago that the “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) was formally established in Europe by the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Since that time Google has received just over 254,000 removal requests across Europe.

According to Reputation VIP, which operates the Forget.me site in Europe, 70 percent of these RTBF requests are now being denied by Google. The average request processing time has also declined from 56 days to 16 over the past year.

RTBF Reputation VIP

According to the company the top four countries in Europe making RTBF requests are the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and France. Invasion of privacy is by far the most-often cited reason behind RTBF requests. The following chart reflects the full hierarchy of removal justifications, according to Reputation VIP.

RTBF categories

Even as RTBF request and removal procedures have “stabilized” over the past year there’s still a debate about the scope of removals. Politicians and regulators throughout Europe want the removals to apply to Google’s entire index. Google has limited removals to the local, European versions of the company’s index and results and declined to extend them to Google.com.

As a kind of unacknowledged compromise Google has made it tougher for people in Europe and elsewhere to get to circumvent the local version of Google and instead use Google.com. Google’s official position on this question is that directing and redirecting people to the local version of Google offers a better experience.

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