Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) scans billions of Web pages every day, but the search giant claims it's having trouble handling the 70,000 requests it's received so far to take down certain search results as it tries to comply with the European Union's "right to be forgotten" ruling.
The new “right to be forgotten” ruling, which allows people to request the removal of links containing their names from search results, is “vague and subjective,” making it difficult for Google to implement it properly, David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president for corporate development and chief legal officer, wrote in an article published in the Guardian on Thursday.
“It's a huge task, as we've had over 70,000 take-down requests covering 250,000 Web pages since May,” Drummond wrote. “So we now have a team of people reviewing each application individually, in most cases with limited information and almost no context.”
According to Drummond, the thorough execution of the court ruling is still “a work in progress,” while there is also possibility that it could result in “difficult and debatable judgments.”
Last week, Google removed a BBC News article about how former Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O'Neal was involved in a mortgage crisis, causing the investment bank to lose billions of dollars. After O'Neal denied that he had requested that a link to the article be removed from Google's search results in the EU, many speculated that Google deliberately agreed to the weak request to take down the story.
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“It's a complex issue, with no easy answers," Drummond said in Thursday's article. "So a robust debate is both welcome and necessary as, on this issue at least, no search engine has an instant or perfect answer.”