The European Union Court of Justice ruling against Google is being felt elsewhere online. Fellow search engine Bing is still working on a way to comply with “the right to be forgotten,” something that many of its competitors have to deal with as well.
The court case that resulted in Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) loss in the EU courts confirmed that European Union citizens have the right to request that a search engine remove links that may be misleading or out of date. Google slammed the decision calling it “censorship,” but has since created a form for EU citizens to request the removal of search results. Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land reported that Google had received about 41,000 requests so far in a recent piece. Google and Bing are not the only companies that have to create these request systems.
Google’s notice above the form stipulates that “we 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,” meaning that a request may be denied if Google feels the public has the right to the information. ZDNet reported that Google would put notices at the bottom of pages where a result has been removed, similar to the way it does with American copyright violations.
The ruling affects all websites that do business in EU countries or face legal consequences if they do not follow the precedent set by the recent ruling. So far the Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has made no announcement about how it would comply with the ruling, despite its search engine being available in the EU. Other, less popular search engines have to comply with the ruling too. Bing has put up a notice in its Help Section saying that its request system would be coming soon.
“We’re currently working on a special process for residents of the European Union to request blocks of specific privacy-related search results on Bing in response to searches on their names. Given the many questions that have been raised about how the recent ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union should be implemented, developing an appropriate system is taking us some time. We’ll be providing additional information about making requests soon.”
Like with Google, whatever process Bing creates will be exclusively for European Union users only. These processes are being designed strictly to comply with the ruling, so they will not affect users or their search results outside the EU. If a user outside this region wants to request the removal of a result, the process will vary from country to country. For American users, getting a search result removed means contacting the website in question to get it removed or providing the search engine with a court order to have the search result removed.