GOOGLE HAS SPLURGED a load of data on the 2.4 million 'right to be forgotten' requests it has received since 2014 in its latest transparency report.
In case you've, er, forgotten, the right to be forgotten was introduced some four years ago and allows people or companies to request that certain information about them doesn't show up in Google's search results.
Google's latest reports show it has actioned 43.3 per cent of all the requests it has received to date. The search giant noted that less than half of the right to be forgotten requests are actioned due to some requests being overridden by public interest and other information factors.
"A few common material factors involved in decisions not to de-list pages include the existence of alternative solutions, technical reasons, or duplicate URLs," Google's report explained. "We may also determine that the page contains information which is strongly in the public interest.
"Determining whether content is in the public interest is complex and may mean considering many diverse factors, including—but not limited to—whether the content relates to the requester's professional life, a past crime, political office, position in public life, or whether the content is self-authored content, consists of government documents, or is journalistic in nature."
Google also showed off anonymous data on who is making the requests and what type of content they want to be de-listed from.
According to the data, 89 per cent of requests come from private individuals rather than other entities. And the small majority, some 19 per cent, of requests are from people asking to be de-listed from directories where the individual's personal information is listed.
Requests to de-list content involving a person's legal history have mostly been focused on news articles and took up 18 per cent of right to be forgotten requests.
However, the majority of right to be forgotten requests involve the de-listing of content and web pages from URLs that don't fit any of Google's established categories.
Out of all the requests, 40 per cent involve de-listing sites with information about minors, while 21 per cent involve the de-listing of content that includes data relating to corporate entities and government official or politicians.
It would seem most of the requests, some 18 per cent, are to do with people wanting their professional information stripped for search results, potentially raising the question as to how many people fib on their CVs.
Some 10 per cent wanted self-authored information to be removed, and eight per cent wanted information relating to their criminal past hidden from the view of Google Search.
The data would suggest that the right to be forgotten requests are mostly from privacy-conscious people wanting to keep out of the gaze of Google, rather than rampant crooks trying to creep around unnoticed. µ
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