Microsoft starts taking EU 'right to be forgotten' requests

SEATTLE Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:40am IST

A shadow of a man using his mobile phone is cast near Microsoft logo at the 2014 Computex exhibition in Taipei June 4, 2014. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang/Files

A shadow of a man using his mobile phone is cast near Microsoft logo at the 2014 Computex exhibition in Taipei June 4, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Pichi Chuang/Files

Related Topics

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp on Wednesday started taking requests from individuals in Europe who want to be removed from its Bing search engine results following a court judgment in May guaranteeing the "right to be forgotten."

Microsoft, whose Bing search engine has 2.5 percent of the European search market, follows market leader Google Inc which complied with the ruling in May, and started removing some search results last month.

The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union in May ordered Google to remove a link to a 15-year-old newspaper article about a Spanish man's bankruptcy, effectively upholding people's "right to be forgotten" on the Internet.

The ruling, which affects the EU's 500 million citizens, requires that Internet search services remove information deemed "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant." Failure to do so can result in fines. It only applies to EU countries, meaning links that have been removed in Europe will still appear in search results elsewhere, including the United States.

Microsoft's form, available on its Bing website (here), is a four-part questionnaire. Microsoft advises those interested in completing the questionnaire that it will "help us to consider the balance between your individual privacy interest and the public interest in protecting free expression and the free availability of information, consistent with European law."

The form states that making a request does not guarantee that a particular search result will be blocked.

European privacy concerns, and tech companies' sensitivity to them, have exploded in the past year after former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed details of mass U.S. surveillance programs involving European citizens and some heads of state.

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

2015: India Outlook

2015: India Outlook

India in 2014: A dream run for markets.  Full Article 

Funding Woes

Funding Woes

Co-founder of SpiceJet seeks time to finalise rescue.  Full Article 

Flying Back on Course

Flying Back on Course

The inside story of the new Airbus A350 jet.  Full Article 

Oil Price Forecast

Oil Price Forecast

Oil prices likely to rebound in second half of 2015: poll  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

China's private sector suitors to drive Asian M&A deals in 2015.  Full Article 

Property Tycoon

Property Tycoon

Wang Jianlin, China's property tycoon, finds golden path to billions.  Full Article 

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

Internet outage seen in N. Korea amid U.S. hacking dispute.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage