Google got some 'right to be forgotten' decisions wrong, says UK

It's been almost a year since the European Union ruled in favour of the "right to be forgotten," giving anyone permission to request that specific links be removed from Google's search results. Since then, the company has dealt with over 250,000 applications from the public (and rejected 59 percent of them). Now, the BBC reports that the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is talking to Google about 48 cases it believes were ruled incorrectly. It's a small number, but one that highlights the difficulties that Google faces with interpreting the EU's ruling and judging individual requests.

The company handles each application on its own -- first, they go to a team of lawyers, paralegals and engineers who rule on comparatively "easy" cases. The more difficult ones are sent to a group of senior Google employees, who debate and vote on each case. The ICO says it's received over 183 complaints from people in the UK who are unhappy with Google's decisions. In the majority of those cases, the regulator has agreed with the company's response, which should balance the right to privacy and freedom of expression. But in 48 cases, the ICO believes Google hasn't got it "quite right." It's now asking the search giant to revise those decisions, and should it refuse, the regulator could impose fines or a legally binding enforcement notice. It's far from a perfect system, but it seems the EU ruling is here to stay, so all parties involved have to make the best of it.

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