Google and Right to Be Forgotten: Selective Indexing Gets a Green Light

September 25, 2019

DarkCyber noted this BBC article: “Google Wins Landmark Right to Be Forgotten Case.” The main point seems to be that references under the “right to be forgotten” umbrella apply only in Europe. The BBC stated:

There has been a lot of interest in the case since, had the ruling gone the other way, it could have been viewed as an attempt by Europe to police a US tech giant beyond the EU’s borders.

Several observations may be warranted:

  • Google can indeed filter search results; thus, objective results are unlikely
  • The index pointers are blocked, which means that those in another country can view proscribed links and maybe – just maybe — a Google super user can view what’s in the Google indexes
  • The “algorithms” which are allegedly working automatically may not; therefore, human adjustments to modify search results are probably available to certain search engineers.

If these observations are more than hypotheticals, will the index tuning have an impact on other legal matters in which Google is involved? Query reshaping and search results filtering are a fact of Google life.

Stephen E Arnold, September 25, 2019


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