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BBC to publish ‘right to be forgotten’ links

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Articles removed under the ‘right to be forgotten’ are to be continuously updated and published by the BBC.

The controversial ruling, made by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) forced Google to consider individual requests to hide search results containing some types of information about them.

However, David Jordan, Head of Editorial Policy, said, in a public meeting hosted by Google, that the BBC felt some of its articles were wrongly hidden and that greater care should be given to the public’s “right to remember”.

The request to remove certain links from Google searches can be made via an online form, which Google created following the comments of the ECJ, stating that link which were “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” should not appear when a specific search, such as a person’s name, was made.

As Google decided to notify the websites that have had links removed, the BBC, within the next few weeks, will start publishing the list of removed URLs it has been notified about by Google.

Jordan said the BBC had so far been notified of 46 links to articles that had been removed.

These included a blog post by Economics Editor Robert Peston, with the request being, believed to have been, made by a person who had left a comment underneath the article.

In this instance, an EU spokesman later said the removal was “not a good judgement” by Google.

Jordan added that the list is intended as a “resource for those interested in the debate”.

He also criticised the “lack of a formal appeal process” following the removal of a link, commenting on one case where an article reporting the trial of members of the Real IRA was removed.

Jordan explained that, “two of whom were subsequently convicted.

“This report could not be traced when looking for any of the defendants’ names. It seems to us to be difficult to justify this in the public’s interest.”

He went on to suggest changes to the process of a “right to be forgotten” request, including the requirement of identity for the person to be shared with the publication, on condition of confidentiality.

The public meeting, hosted by Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman, is one of many that have taken place in Europe over the past couple months, the next meeting will be hald in Brussels on 4th November.

Although the meetings have been criticised by ‘right to be forgotten’ supporters, claiming that they are a “PR exercise” as Google does not want to deal with the requests, as opposed to holding an open debate.

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, Head of CNIL (France’s data protection body) said that “they want to be seen as being open and virtuous, but they handpicked the members of the council, will control who is in the audience, and what comes out of the meetings”.

Source: BBC News

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