- The Washington Times - Friday, July 11, 2014

Europe’s courts forced Google to honor new “right to be forgotten” laws in May, and now they’re being embraced — by scandal-ridden politicians and violent criminals. Google has received hundreds-of-thousands of requests to take down content since the legal ruling that the technology giant asserts is wrong.

The list of individuals seeking content removal include politicians embroiled in scandal, “serious, violent criminals,” and professionals who “regret” comments they previously made online, Market Watch reported Thursday.

“The European Court found that people have the right to ask for information to be removed from search results that include their names if it is ‘inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive,’ ” David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, said in a blog post, Market Watch reported. He added that a newspaper could “have an article on its website about an individual that’s perfectly legal, but we might not legally be able to show links to it in our results when you search for that person’s name.”

Mr. Drummond likened the European law to saying a book “can stay in the library, it just cannot be included in the library’s card catalogue.”

He added that while there are some circumstances that might warrant content be removed from online search results (e.g., a man accused of a crime who is later proven to be innocent), the law highlights “the difficult value judgments search engines and European society now face,” Market Watch reported.

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