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Google launches “right to be forgotten” request form

Google has launched a service where you can ask to be removed from Google search results.

The service launches after the European Union court ruled earlier this month that gave internet users the “right to be forgotten”.

Google has released a form where you can apply to have data erased from search results, but only queries that include your name that offer results that are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes”.

Each request will be assessed according to the “privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information.”

“When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information,” Google states on its newly launched form.

This form is only what Google calls its “initial effort” as the search engine giant is working with data protection authorities and other to enhance its approach to this new ruling.

The company will look at information relating to “financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials” when assessing submitted requests.

You must have a valid photo identity for each request, which must be accompanied to links the related material, reasons for the request and their country of origin.

“Google often receives fraudulent removal requests from people impersonating others, trying to harm competitors, or improperly seeking to suppress legal information,” said Google. “To prevent this kind of abuse, we need to verify identity.”

Information will start to be removed from search results from mid-June and any results affected by removed content will be flagged to anyone searching for it.

According to figures released to the BBC, half of the requests submitted by UK residents to Google for information removal related to convicted criminals.

Data removal decisions are made by people rather than computer algorithms and disagreements will be overseen by national data protection agencies.

European data regulators are due to meet in early June to discuss “the right to forget” and those conversations may include issuing a statement as to how appeals will be handled by watchdogs.

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