Right To Be Forgotten: A 2 Year Data Analysis

Two years ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union passed a “Right To Be Forgotten” rule. Under this law, web owners can now request that links leading to websites labeled as “private” be removed from search engines such as Google and Bing.

In order to keep track of all the incoming requests, Google created a form where people would submit their removal requests. Now, two years later, we finally have some data to work with when it comes to determining how effective this Right To Be Forgotten rule is. Using Reputation VIP’s Forget.me data, the company counted nearly 130,000 requests.

The statistical trends were shocking; roughly 75% of all RTBF requests were denied by Google. Reputation VIP decided to take their data analysis a step further and determine what specific requests Google was denying.

Anything regarding professional activity, such as what careers you’ve had in the past, your current employment status and who you work for, accounts for 29.7% of all denied RTBF requests. Another common type of refusal is that the content is original (19.9%) or that the information you want forgotten is about another person (9.4%). Overall, 62.1% of all submitted requests were related to “Invasion of Privacy.” Others include damage to one’s reputation or image, legal proceedings, identity theft and deceased persons.

Europeans are more likely to request RTBF for social profiles than any other type of website category. However, Google rarely grants these requests. Instead, Reputation VIP found that links are granted the forgotten status for directories (54.6%) over any other type of website. Other types include blogs, press sites, and Wikipedia pages.

Aside from this new information, the report mentions that Google has also cut it’s link analysis time in half, meaning that they are becoming more methodical in how they grant websites the RTBF. Europeans can expect to see similar trends in the future as the search engine continues to move forward with this censorship plan.

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