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2,869 Austrians want to be forgotten by Google

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2,869 Austrians want to be forgotten by Google
Europeans asked Google to remove nearly a half million URLs. Screenshot: Google
09:03 CEST+02:00
Nearly 3,000 Austrians have taken advantage of the May ruling by the EU Court of Justice that gave Europeans the right to request search engines like Google to remove results about them.
Google’s latest Transparency Report shows that the American tech giant received 144,907 requests from Europeans to remove certain links from the results that come up when searching their names.
 
Google received a total of 2,869 requests from Austria that affect 10,611 URLs. Of those requests, Google removed 46.1 percent of the URLs and rejected 53.9 percent of the requests. 
 
Since the ruling, commonly known as the ‘right to be forgotten’, Google has received 146,357 individual requests throughout Europe and has evaluated nearly a half million URLs for removal. Google removed the URLs in 41.8 percent of the requests. 
 
Facebook was the site most affected by the ‘right to be forgotten’, with 3,353 URLs removed from the social media behemoth. 
 
The ability to request Google to block search results for some specific types of searches arose from a case of a Spaniard who complained that his right to privacy had been infringed as a result of reports relating to the claim that his home had been repossessed as a result of his failure to pay taxes.
 
Google’s Transparency Report lists some examples of the types of requests that have come in since the ‘right to be forgotten’ took effect. 
 
“A financial professional asked us to remove more than 10 links to pages reporting on his arrest and conviction for financial crimes. We did not remove the pages from search results,” Google wrote about a case from Switzerland.
 
“A media professional requested that we remove four links to articles reporting on embarrassing content he posted to the Internet. We did not remove the pages from search results,” the search giant wrote about a UK case. 
 
“An individual requested that we remove close to 50 links to articles about an embarrassing private exchange that became public. The pages have been removed from search results for his name,” Google said about a German case. 
 
Google did not provide specific examples of Austrian requests, however The Local has previously reported on the removal of results relating to Austrian incest rapist Josef Fritzl
 
The ‘right to be forgotten’ only affects search results made from the European versions of Google.  
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