Monday, April 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Fraud, sex, post-it art: Google cuts search links

By
From page B6 | July 04, 2014 |

BRUSSELS — Google’s removal of search results in Europe is drawing accusations of press censorship, as stories from some of the continent’s most prominent news outlets begin vanishing. The U.S. internet giant said Thursday it is getting 1,000 requests a day to scrub results.

The U.S. firm must comply with a May ruling from the European Union’s top court that enables citizens to ask for the removal of embarrassing personal information that pops up on a search of their names. Among links to vanish were stories on a soccer referee who resigned after a scandal in 2010, French office workers making post-it art, a couple having sex on a train and a lawyer facing a fraud trial.

At least three British media outlets, including the Guardian newspaper and public broadcaster BBC, said Google notified them search results in Europe would not contain some links to their publications.

“It is the equivalent of going into libraries and burning books you don’t like,” Daily Mail Online publisher Martin Clarke said.

BBC Economics Editor Robert Peston said the removal of his 2007 blog post, which was critical of Merrill Lynch’s then-CEO Stan O’Neal, means “to all intents and purposes the article has been removed from the public record, given that Google is the route to information and stories for most people.”

The company is only starting to implement the ruling on the “right to be forgotten” and so far the numbers are small: The Guardian cited six articles, the BBC said one critical blog entry was removed, while the Mail Online saw four articles hit. Several German media contacted Thursday said they had not yet received notifications from Google.

“It’s not yet really clear what the magnitude of this is,” cautioned Joel Reidenberg of Fordham University, currently a visiting professor at Princeton University. “Google may be choosing to go overboard to essentially create a debate about censorship.”

The company said it had received more than 70,000 removal requests by the end of June. Each application on average seeks the removal of almost four links, meaning its experts have to individually evaluate more than a quarter-million pages.

Google does not explain the decision to remove a link or say who requested it. The company is not disclosing how many appear to fall into areas the court specified as potentially objectionable: results that are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant.”

The purge of search results applies to Google’s local search pages covering the EU’s 28 member nations and four other European countries, encompassing more than 500 million people. The company has a 90 percent market share for searches in Europe. Those who switch to the firm’s American domain, Google.com, will find unaltered search results.

The Mountain View, California, company finds itself in an uncomfortable position. It has no choice but to comply with the ruling by the EU top court, which cannot be appealed, but many decisions to remove search results are likely to draw criticism.

“This is a new and evolving process for us,” Google spokesman Al Verney said Thursday. “We’ll continue to listen to feedback and will also work with data protection authorities and others as we comply with the ruling.”

Princeton’s Reidenberg said while the court gave Google little practical guidance on how to implement its decision, it effectively gave the search engine a responsibility similar to those traditional publishers always had — judging whether an information is in the public interest, whether it will withstand legal challenges and whether an individual complaint against it is warranted.

“Google algorithms are already making value judgments all the time as to which information is relevant,” he added.

Proponents of the court decision say it gives individuals the possibility to restore their reputation by deleting references to old debts, past arrests and other unflattering episodes. They also note that the court specified Google should not remove links to information when the public’s right to know about it outweighs an individual’s right to privacy — for example when a politician or public figure seeks to clean online records.

“The ruling has created a stopwatch on free expression — our journalism can be found only until someone asks for it to be hidden,” author James Ball wrote on the Guardian’s website.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

County action speeds Solano fairgrounds plan to next phase

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Vacaville eyes ban on medical marijuana grows

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

Paint the Town Purple; and Roxie

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
White minister fought for civil rights in the south

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Farmers markets herald return of summer

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
City Coach hosts first block party

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Bid Corderos Park, city staff recommends

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Denim and Diamonds fundraiser set May 16

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Crash claims life of Concord teen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Biz Buzz: NorthBay offers extended hours for primary care

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Biz Buzz: Retail store helps those with autism

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

Biz Buzz: Committee schedules contractors breakfast

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7

 
Biz Buzz: Budweiser kicks off new parks campaign

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

Biz Buzz: Dutch Bros. plans ALS fundraiser

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

 
Biz Buzz: Company schedules pasta class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

 
.

US / World

Picture it: A 1,000-year exposure showing a changing Earth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
‘Batman’ killer studied brain disorders before mass murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Image from the quake: Heavy damage in Nepal ancient city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Fighting rages in Yemen’s 3rd-largest city, strikes continue

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Mountaineers, guides stream from Everest after avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Putin accuses US of supporting separatists in Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Death toll in Nepal quake rises to more than 3,200

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Late spring complicates already perilous amphibian migration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Quake agony revealed quietly on trip from Nepal airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Corinthian Colleges to shut down all 28 remaining campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
No time to lose: Global response to Nepal quake gears up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Japan’s prime minister goes to US to showcase close ties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Israel says airstrike on Syrian border targeted militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Family, friends in Baltimore mourn death of arrested man

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
.

Living

Today in history: Monday, April 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Parenting: How to set boundaries on screen time

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

 
Horoscope: April 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

Horoscope: April 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My husband doesn’t want me to redecorate home he had with first wife

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Warriors confident after sweep of Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants-Rockies game postponed by rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Motorcycle rider from Livermore killed in Nevada race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Billy Andrade and Joe Durant win Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cavs sweep Celts as James scores 27 in 101-93 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

It’s here: Fight week begins with Pacquiao caravan to Vegas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
American Pharoah completes final pre-Kentucky Derby workout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Newgarden claims first IndyCar Series win not far from home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Justin Rose wins in New Orleans for 7th PGA Tour title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Wall, Beal lead Wiz past Raptors 125-94 in Game 4 for sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Paul, Clippers even series with 114-105 win over Spurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ko wins Swinging Skirts for 2nd straight year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Janis Ruth (Sefzik) Skinner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C. April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Bridge April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Crossword April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7