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What Europe's new 'right to be forgotten' online means

Brian S Hall | June 6, 2014
Would something like this ever happen in the U.S.? Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales doesn't think so.

Won't Google be overwhelmed by requests?
It just might be. On the very first day Google posted the online form, the company received 12,000 requests.

Does the EU ruling only affect Google?
No. Google is the dominant search engine in the EU, so obviously it's impacted a great deal. However, Yahoo and Bing must also comply as they have a presence in Europe, though neither has yet established a system to accept requests. It is still unknown how this may ultimately apply to related services such as Twitter or Facebook, both of which have search functions.

Could the U.S. follow suit with a right-to-be-forgotten ruling?
That's hard to say. Privacy rights and First Amendment-related issues are judged differently here. That said, there is precedent.California has a law that allows minors to have information on them removed from search engines. There are no doubt many people that would happily welcome the "right to be forgotten."

 

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