Earlier this month, a European Union court ruled that Google has to honor requests from users who want certain unflattering search results removed from their site, based on the legal principle that people have the right to be "forgotten" online. Google is now faced with the major challenge of implementing a "forget" process into their systems, both to filter through the overwhelming number of requests and to address them accordingly. It has already led to some expected issues: disgraced politicians want their sour statements removed and businesses want unfavorable reviews stripped.
On Friday, Google launched a new form where Europeans can request a deletion and they have put together a committee of experts to advise them through the creation of a more formal procedure. The obvious concerns are that ruling could encourage censorship, which Google fears and wants to stay away from, so they are left with a balancing act. Larry Page, Google's CEO, has said, “It will be used by other governments that aren’t as forward and progressive as Europe to do bad things." The legal principles behind the EU's "right to be forgotten" ruling and the public's "right to know" don't apply equally, everywhere on the globe.