When it comes to the Right To Be Forgotten (RTBF) in Europe, it can and has been used to take-down search results that people rightfully don’t want others to see, there are those, such as the UK-based Daily Mail, who argues that there are cases where it’s being abused by those trying to suppress criminal records.
In the publication, there are several egregious examples that have been cited where criminals have successfully had links removed, which is a little scary:
Examples of links deleted by Google include a number of Mail articles detailing issues ranging from drug abuse to incest, murder and spying . . . For instance, Mail received a request to remove a May 2009 article describing the sordid captivity in which Josef Fritzl kept his family . . . Another Mail story removed from Google concerned Ronald Castree, 61, a paedophile who abducted an 11-year old girl with learning difficulties before abusing and murdering her.
The Daily Mail said that, even though individuals convicted of “serious crimes” won’t have their RTBF request granted, there are other innocent parties who were named in the Daily Mail articles can successfully remove articles. As you can imagine, there is the problem, as it can create a loophole.
[T]hey can exploit the controversial ruling by asking any friends or family mentioned in the same article to make the request on their behalf.
As of now, after receiving almost 300,000 take-down requests, Google has granted about 60 percent of those requests across Europe.
Interestingly, aside from Google, Facebook is the single site in Europe that’s been impacted the most by RTBF and had the most links/content removed.