Google approves link removal in Europe search engines - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Google approves link removal in Europe search engines

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NEW YORK (NBC) - A fact of life in the digital age is that just about everything about a person that has appeared on the Internet can be found on Google. Some may wish that was not the case, and now in Europe, people may get their wish.

Up until now what happened online generally stayed online, but Europe's top court recently ruled that Internet users have what's called "a right to be forgotten."

Citizens there can now ask Google to remove links about themselves from the company's Europe-based search engines.

Anyone in Europe can ask Google to remove links, including celebrities or even criminals. The company determines what gets pulled, based on certain criteria

Users must prove to Google that content is "inadequate," "irrelevant," or "inappropriate."

Having more control over what happens when we are googled may sound like a good idea to some, but others are concerned.

"We have this great tradition in this country of open access to records and you imagine when you Google something or look up someone's history, that no one is suppressing information, suppressing information from the past, that sounds like hiding," said Bob Sullivan.

Google argued against the new European rules, calling the case a collision between the "right to be forgotten" and the "right to know."

Many, especially some in the US,  believe the Internet should be uncensored

Google posted the online request forms on Thursday and at times received as many as 20 a minute.

The company has yet to pull anything down, but even when they do, searches outside of Europe will still generate the links and an item can always be posted again creating a new link.

Other search engines like Yahoo and Bing are closely following the case to see how it affects  their businesses.
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