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Google tosses 59 percent of Europe's 'right to be forgotten' requests

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How is the European Union's "right to be forgotten" faring a year after it kicked in? If you ask Google, it's more than a little messy. The internet firm has published an updated Transparency Report which reveals that the company rejected about 59 percent of the search result takedown requests received to date. While it doesn't break down exactly why it's tossing those requests, its examples typically include criminals trying to hide their unpleasant pasts and professionals embarrassed by their earlier work. And to no one's surprise, the top sites under the crosshairs are typically social services like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Accordingly, many of the concerns that swirled around the EU's new policy are still here. If anything, they're getting worse. Both content creators and rejected applicants tell the International Business Times that they don't like leaving the fate of a takedown demand to a private company, with no appeal after the decision -- if Google or Microsoft hides a news story, there may be no way to get it back. Also, there's still pressure to have these companies censor results on all their web domains, not just European ones. There's no formal attempt underway to change either approach, but it's clear that the issues are reaching a boiling point. Search operators may have to either agree to compromises (such as hiding search results based on the viewer's location) or face the wrath of both governments and privacy-minded residents.

[Image credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images]

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