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July 24, 2014

Bing introduces removal request form in response to ‘right to be forgotten’ EU ruling

In this post, Simon speaks about Microsoft’s new request form, which allows individuals to block Bing search results in Europe, and lists ten things you need to know about ‘right to be forgotten’.

Following the ‘right to be forgotten’ European Union (EU) ruling in May, the vast majority of submissions for link removals have been made through Google’s new search removal request form  – over 70,000 according to Google’s official blog.

However this week, Microsoft launched its own online removal form, allowing individuals to request ‘blocks’ to search results through Bing. The application allows EU residents to request the removal of links to specific search results appearing about them on the Internet.

Applicants using the Bing removal request form need to provide information about their identity, residency and role in society or community before their submission will be evaluated.  Each submission will be decided on how much it infringes on that person’s privacy rights, and whether the information is in the public interest, consistent with European law.

As with Google’s ‘right to be forgotten’ request procedure, Bing is offering no promise or guarantee that links to information will be removed.

Ten things you need to know about the ‘right to be forgotten’

  1. The ruling applies to EU citizens and nationals only.
  2. Links will only be removed if the information is seen as ‘no longer relevant’, ‘old’ or ‘not in the public interest’.
  3. Google and Bing are the first search engines to introduce online forms allowing link removal requests.
  4. Some individuals choose to employ a specialist, such as Igniyte, to assess and make the submission for them.
  5. The ruling is very new and there are no absolute criteria or any guarantee of success.
  6. One off applications will be accepted only – there is no appeal process.
  7. The ruling only applies to individuals and not to companies or brands.
  8. There is a huge backlog of requests and submissions may take time.
  9. In the future Google, and other search engines, may publish a list of the applications received.
  10. If your submission fails, you do have the right to refer this to your national data organisation.

If you think this ruling applies to you and require help in making a ‘right to be forgotten’ application please contact me for further advice.

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