Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Europe Tried to Rein In Google. It Backfired

Europe Tried to Rein In Google. It Backfired. - The New York Times: "In the almost two years since Europeans gained the “right to be forgotten” on the Internet, Google has passed judgment in over 418,000 cases — roughly 572 a day — from people wanting links of certain search results to be removed, according to the company's records. It has approved fewer than half of those requests, all behind closed doors.

Google’s total number of privacy-related judgments is double those of most of Europe’s biggest individual national authorities over the same period, even though these public agencies address a wider range of data protection complaints.

 Despite a history of animosity toward the company, national regulators have handed over the review powers to Google with few complaints, saying they are merely following Europe’s complex data protection rules. Other search companies, including Microsoft, have been given the same authority, though their number of judgments pales by comparison.

Some consumer groups and privacy experts are not satisfied with that arrangement. They have sounded alarm bells over a for-profit company — one that relies on tapping into people’s digital lives to make billions of dollars and that is the subject of multiple privacy and antitrust investigations — playing such a central role in protecting individuals’ data, and doing so in such a secretive manner.

 Google has not responded to requests, including an open letter last year from primarily European and American academics, to explain how its review process works. And since 2014, when “right to be forgotten” was enshrined, the company has declined to give any journalists access to its team of fewer than 50 employees — mostly lawyers and paralegals based at its Dublin offices — who review the demands. Google also did not respond to questions for this article about the decision process." 'via Blog this'

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