Google hosts meetings across Europe on privacy rights

September 8, 2014

By Leila Abboud PARIS (Reuters) – A panel appointed by search engine Google will hold the first of a series of meetings on Tuesday to debate the balance between privacy and the free flow of information after a May court ruling reinforced Europeans right to be forgotten. The event in Madrid will be the first of seven meetings in European capitals, as the Internet giant struggles with thousands of requests a month to remove from its search results everything from serious criminal records, embarrassing photos, instances of online bullying and negative press stories. By mid-July, Google, which holds more than 80 percent of Europes search market, said it had received more than 90,000 requests and accepted more than half since the European Unions top court ruled they must remove results if the information was inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant. Meanwhile data protection regulators from European countries, which are next set to meet on Sept. 15, are working on guidelines for the search engines, which also include Microsoft and Yahoo!, to ensure that requests are handled consistently.