More Google 'forget' requests emerge after EU ruling

Google on a tablet Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Google has said the EU's ruling is "disappointing"

A man who tried to kill his family is among the latest to request removal of search results from Google.

A European court this week ruled that an individual could force the removal of some search results.

The BBC has learned that more than half of requests sent to Google from UK individuals involved convicted criminals.

A business has also sought for links to negative reviews on a forum to be removed.

As the European Court of Justice made its ruling on Tuesday, many speculated that a flurry of similar requests would come Google's way.

On Thursday it emerged an ex-politician seeking re-election has asked to have links to an article about his behaviour in office removed.

A man convicted of possessing child abuse images had also requested links to pages about his conviction to be wiped.

Tax scammer

More requests came to light on Friday. They included:

  • A man who tried to kill members of his own family who has asked for links to a news article to be taken down
  • A celebrity's child who wanted links to news articles about a criminal conviction removed
  • A suspended university lecturer who asked for the removal of links to articles mentioning the disciplinary action
  • A convicted cyberstalker who, after being cited in an article about cyberstalking law, wants links to it taken down
  • An actor who has asked for links to articles about an affair he had with a teenager taken down
  • A man convicted of running a tax scam who wants all links referencing the event removed

Since Tuesday's ruling many have come forward to question the practicality of the EU's decision.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionRory Cellan-Jones: "One can be sure that Google's lawyers will be trying to find a way out of this"

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales described it as "astonishing" and a form of "wide-sweeping censorship".

However, the EU has defended the move, saying that in cases where the public interest case is more pressing than the individual's privacy rights, links should not be taken down.

'Slow and cumbersome'

Getting that balance right is a delicate issue, said Michael Sandys from Liverpool-based Jackson & Canter Solicitors.

"Lawmakers will need to ensure they find a way to allow some information to be removed in a timely fashion while at the same time not allowing history to be rewritten," he said.

"If an individual goes to court about an article or piece of data which is found to be defamatory or inaccurate then there are levers in place for Google to quickly remove it from the search results."

But he argued that Google could do more to deal with genuine cases of incorrect information.

"I have made requests on behalf of clients a number of times for the removal of content which defames them. Sometimes it is dealt with well but other times the process can be slow and cumbersome."

Google's official statement on the matter, unchanged since Tuesday, described the EU's ruling as "disappointing".

Follow Dave Lee on Twitter @DaveLeeBBC

More on this story