Posts tagged Europe

Wikimedia To Europe: Don’t Let Us Be Forgotten

The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit foundation behind Internet’s encyclopedia Wikipedia, publicly called out the “right to be forgotten” recently established by a European court. The ruling requires search engines to remove links to Web pages people don’t want displayed in search results if they meet certain criteria.

See also: Google To Europe: Sometimes It’s Not So Easy To Forget

“The ability of editors and contributors to find, deliver and improve the content of Wikimedia projects heavily depends on having search engines that provide the most accurate, relevant and truthful data,” Lila Tretikov, the foundation’s executive director, told reporters at a London press conference, according to TechCrunch.

The foundation has received five notices from Google alerting them to 50 Wikipedia links that have been removed from search results under the right to be forgotten ruling. The Wikimedia Foundation posted them publicly on their website.

The organization also released its first-ever transparency report detailing the number and types of requests the Wikimedia Foundation receives to remove material from the site. Like other tech companies, the transparency report acknowledges that many of those requests were not fulfilled.

Wikimedia Foundation executive director Lila Tretikov

The foundation received 56 requests for user data and produced information 14% of the time, and 304 requests for content alteration and takedown. It didn’t accede to any of those requests.

“Demands that we erase content can be a direct threat to our mission,” Tretikov said.

Takedowns under the right to be forgotten don’t actually remove any data from Wikipedia itself. They just require search engines to scrub the links from search results. So Wikipedia can’t do anything to prevent the removal of links to its entries. The Wikimedia Foundation believes the ruling “compromised the public’s right to information and freedom of expression.”

Tretikov said at the press conference:

Some search engines are giving proper notice, and some are not. We find this type of compelled censorship unacceptable. But we find the lack of disclosure unforgivable. This is not a tenable future. We cannot build the sum of all human knowledge without the world’s truthful sources, based on pre-edited histories. 

Image of the Wikimedia puzzle globe by Fabrice Florinimage of Wikimedia Foundation executive director Lila Tretikov by Fabrice Florin

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Google To Europe: Sometimes It’s Not So Easy To Forget

Turns out there are a lot of people who want the Internet to forget about them—whether they deserve it or not.

In May, a European court ruled that Google must remove “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” search results when an individual in the E.U., or potentially outside the region, asks it to. In a letter to European regulators, Google reported that as of July 18, it has received 91,000 requests to remove 328,000 URLs from search results under this newly created “right to be forgotten.”

See Also: European Court Orders Google To “Forget” Old Search Results

It hasn’t gone entirely smoothly. In July, Google removed and then reinstated links to the Guardian’s website with no explanation.

What’s more, Google has run into some completely predictable issues with the court’s vague ruling. These include people who provide false or inaccurate information, or public figures who are seeking to remove information about themselves from the public record.

For instance, Google reports that “some professional journalists have asked us to remove articles that they wrote for a publication to which they are no longer connected.” More seriously:

Even if requesters provide us with accurate information, they understandably may avoid presenting facts that are not in their favour. As such, we may not become aware of relevant context that would speak in favour of preserving the accessibility of a search result. An example would be a request to remove an old article about a person being convicted of a number of crimes in their teenage years, which omits that the old article has its relevance renewed due to a recent article about that person being convicted for similar crimes as an adult. Or a requester may not disclose a role they play in public life, for which their previous reported activities or political positions are highly relevant.

France leads Europe with 17,500 “forget me” requests involving 58,000 URLs, followed by Germany with 16,500 requests involving 57,000 URLs and the UK with 12,000 requests involving 44,000 URLs. Google has removed 53% of the total requested URLs.

Balancing Privacy And Public Knowledge

It’s important to note that Google doesn’t delete the Web pages users ask for, just the links to them displayed in Google searches. So even if Google removes a link, it will still be available to view on the Web—it will just take some extra searching. 

Google formed an advisory council intended to help it strike a balance between the “right to be forgotten” and the public’s right to know. In the meantime, Google is still facing a backlog of removal requests resulting from the ruling earlier this summer. The company says it’s working through them as fast as possible. 

Lead image courtesy of Moyan Brenn on Flickr

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Bing Launches Search Removal Request Form in Europe

Microsoft’s search engine Bing has finally responded to the recent European Court of Justice “right to be forgotten” ruling. Bing has created a form for people to use who want embarrassing things written about them to be removed from search results.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

Google’s ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Form Now Available For Users In Europe by @mattsouthern

Last week a landmark privacy decision was made by the European Union Court of Justice that grants EU citizens the “right to be forgotten.” The ruling stipulates that users can ask for Google to stop linking to anything that’s “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.” Following this ruling, Google has opened up an online form where you can ask to have links to personal data removed from Google’s search results. How It Works When submitting links to be removed, you are asked to provide Google with the URLs […]

The post Google’s ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Form Now Available For Users In Europe by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Google Must ‘Forget’ Unfavorable Search Results in Europe

Europe’s high court has ruled that people have a “right to be forgotten”. This means Google and other search engines will be required to remove negative search results. It will take Google several weeks to figure out how to make this work.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

Google Launches Chromecast In Europe and Canada

Congratulations, Europe and Canada—you finally get to see what all the fuss over Google’s cheap TV streaming stick is about.

The company is releasing the device, which has been available in the U.S. for $35 since last summer, in 11 countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

A Google representative told me that the international release was delayed partly due to manufacturing and distribution issues. That may reflect lessons Google learned from the U.S. release, during which the Chromecast rapidly sold out shortly after launch.

See also: The First Wave Of New Chromecast Apps Is Here

View full post on ReadWrite

That Amazon Prime Price Hike Is Already Happening In Europe

Amazon is raising the price of Amazon Prime subscriptions in the U.K. and Germany by roughly 60% to 70% starting February 26, it announced Friday. The new fee coincides with Amazon’s decision to include streaming video in the deal for its European customers and may be a sign of things to come for U.S. users as well. Amazon said a few weeks ago that it may impose similar increases for domestic Prime users, who have access to free streaming since 2011

 

 

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Google, Europe Near Antitrust Deal, Really This Time?

With its latest offer, Google has effectively settled the three year probe and has dodged a potential $5 billion fine. While the European Commission has accepted the concessions, they must first be accepted by the complainants, including Microsoft.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

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