VPN Disables Right to Be Forgotten for Users in European Union
March 24, 2016
Individuals in the European Union have been granted legal protection to request unwanted information about themselves be removed from search engines. An article from Wired, In Europe,You’ll Need a VPN to See Real Google Search Results, explains the latest on the European Union’s “right to be forgotten” laws. Formerly, privacy requests would only scrub sites with European country extensions like .fr, but now Google.com will filter results for privacy for those with a European IP address. However, European users can rely on a VPN to enable their location to appear as if it were from elsewhere. The article offers context and insight,
“China has long had its “Great Firewall,” and countries like Russia and Brazil have tried to build their own barriers to the outside ‘net in recent years. These walls have always been quite porous thanks to VPNs. The only way to stop it would be for Google to simply stop allowing people to access its search engine via a VPN. That seems unlikely. But with Netflix leading the way in blocking access via VPNs, the Internet may yet fracture and localize.”
The demand for browsing the web using surreptitious methods, VPN or otherwise, only seems to be increasing. Whether motivations are to uncover personal information about certain individuals, watch Netflix content available in other countries or use forums on the Dark Web, the landscape of search appears to be changing in a major way.
Megan Feil, March 24, 2016