| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO May 14 Google Inc is
already getting requests to remove objectionable personal
information from its search engine after Europe's top court
ruled that subjects have the "right to be forgotten," a source
familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The world's No. 1 Internet search company has yet to figure
out how to handle an expected flood of requests after Tuesday's
ruling, said the source, who is not authorized to speak on the
record about the issue.
The decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union,
which affects the region's 500 citizens, requires that Internet
search services remove information deemed "inadequate,
irrelevant or no longer relevant." Failure to do so can result
Google will need to build up an "army of removal experts" in
each of the 28 European Union countries, including those where
Google does not have operations, the source said. Whether those
experts merely remove controversial links or actually judge the
merits of individual take-down requests are among the many
questions Google has yet to figure out, the source said.
Europeans can submit take-down requests directly to Internet
companies rather than to local authorities or publishers under
Google is the dominant search engine in Europe, commanding
about 93 percent of the market, according to StatCounter global
statistics. Microsoft Corp's Bing has 2.4 percent and
Yahoo Inc has 1.7 percent.
The company has said it is disappointed with the ruling,
which it said differed dramatically from a non-binding opinion
by the ECJ's court adviser last year which noted that deleting
information from search results would interfere with freedom of
Yahoo is "carefully reviewing" the decision to assess the
impact for its business and its users, a spokeswoman said in a
statement. "Since our founding almost 20 years ago, we've
supported an open and free internet; not one shaded by
Microsoft declined to comment.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Richard Chang)