EU seeks meeting with Google, others on 'right to be forgotten'

The European Union's privacy watchdogs plan to discuss implementation of the controversial rule with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

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EU regulators want to ask Google about its implementation of the newly designated "right to be forgotten." Bloomberg via Getty Images

European Union regulators have invited Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to a meeting next week to talk about "right to be forgotten" rules, as they look to raise their concerns about Google's implementation of the new policy.

EU privacy officials told the Wall Street Journal that they are planning for a meeting next Thursday in Brussels, though the publication said it remains unclear whether the companies have responded to the invitation.

Microsoft told CNET it will attend the meeting. Google and Yahoo didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

In May, the EU Court of Justice ruled that European citizens have a right to ask search engines to remove any results that might infringe upon their privacy. The decision reignited the longstanding debate over privacy in the Internet age and the public's right to know.

Google, which has condemned the decision, last week said that since May it has received more than 70,000 takedown requests encompassing 250,000 individual webpages. The ruling puts the burden on search engines to review takedown requests, determine which ones are valid, and then take the needed action.

One area of concern that EU regulators may ask Google about is the company's refusal to remove search results from its primary Google.com site. Instead, the company has been removing results from regional sites, such as the French site Google.fr, the Journal reported.

Google was named directly in the lawsuit before the Court of Justice, but other search engines are affected, as well. For example, Microsoft's Bing search engine has put up a "Request to Block Bing Search Results in Europe" form on its site.

Updated at 10:25 a.m. PT with Microsoft's comment.

 

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