Google Said to Cut Links on Over Half of EU Privacy Requests

Jul 24, 2014 7:39 pm ET

(Updates with Google response in seventh paragraph.)

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc. told European Union privacy regulators that it has taken down links in response to more than half of the requests it received seeking the right to be forgotten, a person familiar with the matter said.

Google received more than 91,000 requests for links to be removed from its search engine as of July 18, covering 328,000 Internet addresses, a representative of the world’s largest search provider told regulators in Brussels today, said the person.

Google and other search engines were ordered by the EU’s top court in May to take down personal information on request if it’s outdated or irrelevant. Privacy watchdogs from the 28- nation bloc today began considering guidelines for how the new right to privacy should be applied.

The highest number of requests to Google came from France with 17,500 inquiries for 58,000 Internet addresses, and Germany with 16,500 requests for 57,000 addresses, said the person, who requested anonymity because the matter is private.

Mountain View, California-based Google rejects more than 30 percent of takedown requests and asks for information in about 15 percent of the cases, the person said.

CNIL, the French regulator heading the EU regulators’ group, didn’t respond to a call after regular business hours seeking comment.

Rob Shilkin, a Google spokesman, declined to comment on the takedown requests.

--With assistance from Brian Womack in San Francisco.