Microsoft Follows Google in European Union’s “Right to Be Forgotten”


Microsoft has decided to also comply with European Union regulations over the ‘right to be forgotten’ by introducing request forms for users who want removal of obsolete or personal information from Bing’s search results.

The law requires national and international companies operating in the European Union to entertain removal requests of links that are either obsolete, outdated, or compromise an individual’s privacy.

As of now, Microsoft requires separate forms to be submitted in order to process a request. It plans to replicate Google by introducing online forms soon, so that it can speed up the process. The form will specifically ask users to identify the link and provide reasons as to why they want it removed, and also requires submitting photo identification.

Google has pioneered developing the online form for users through which they can process link removal requests. The company immediately responded to European Court of Justice’s ruling on May 13, requiring companies to entertain data removal requests. Google received around 12,000 requests on the first day it started accepting forms. Till now, more than 70,000 data removal requests have been filed with the search giant.

Currently, Microsoft’s Bing controls 3% of Europe’s search traffic, significantly lower than the 11% it controls in the US. However, other search engines in Europe, like Seznam in Czech Republic, have adopted different means to process removal requests. They ask users to file removal requests to original publishers first, and then the search engine will alter results once the content has been removed by the original publishers.

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