Google gets 12,000 requests to be 'forgotten' in Europe on first day of service
Google has set up an online form to allow Europeans to request the removal of results about them from Internet searches. (AFP PHOTO / Kimihiro Hoshino)
BERLIN (AFP) -- Google received 12,000 requests from people seeking to be "forgotten" by the world's leading search engine on the first day it offered the service, a company spokesman in Germany said Saturday.
The requests, submitted on Friday, came after Google set up an online form to allow Europeans to request the removal of results about them from Internet searches.
The number confirms earlier estimates given by the German daily Der Spiegel and reported in other media.
Earlier in May the European Court of Justice ruled that individuals have the right to have links to information about them deleted from searches in certain circumstances, such as if the data is outdated or inaccurate.
Google said that each request would be examined individually to gauge whether it met the ruling's criteria.
The U.S.-based Internet giant declined to estimate how long it might take for the links to disappear, saying factors such as whether requests are clear-cut will affect how long it takes.
The ruling on the right to be forgotten comes amid growing concern in Europe about individuals' ability to protect their personal data and manage their reputations online.