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Google details how Europeans are wielding their 'right to be forgotten'

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 10, 2014
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It's no secret that plenty of people are using (and abusing) the European Union's "right to be forgotten" online, but have you wondered just how these requests tend to break down? You won't have to wonder for much longer. Google has updated its Transparency Report with a new section for European search removal requests, letting you see how many requests it gets in a given EU country, how often it honors them and which websites are typically affected.

The stats vary sharply across the continent. Google has accepted 53 percent of takedown requests from Germans, but only 26 percent from Croatians. Not surprisingly, many of the withdrawn results (144,954 as of October 10th) involve Facebook, YouTube and other sites where profiles, social updates and videos might prove embarrassing. The internet giant is quick to give examples of rejections, though, including residents who were trying to hide criminal pasts or stifle criticism. The upgraded Transparency Report is no doubt convenient for Google, which previously griped about the sheer volume of requests it has to handle, but it's hard to object to a clearer view of a typically obscure process.

[Image credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images]

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