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Paedophile, politician and doctor ask Google to wipe past from web

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Requests are first test of new European court ruling that people have 'right to be forgotten' online

The first removal requests have been received by Google after a European court ruled that people had the ‘right to be forgotten’ online.

An ex-politician, a convicted paedophile and a doctor have all asked for search results to be removed by Google, the BBC reports.

A man convicted of possessing images of child abuse has requested that pages about his conviction be erased from Google search results. An ex-politician is seeking re-election has asked for search results linking to an article about his behaviour while in office to be removed. Finally, a doctor has asked for negative reviews from patients to be purged from Google.

The ruling by the European Court of Justice was frontpage news earlier this week, with Google deriding the ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling as “disappointing”. Google has not commented further nor has it revealed how many take-down requests it has received since Tuesday.

Google will be forced to remove any links that are deemed “irrelevant and outdated”, with people able to appeal any decision Google makes. It isn’t clear if Google has complied with these first takedown requests.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales blasted the new law as “ridiculous”, adding that it “makes no sense at all”.

“I think the ruling is ridiculous, I think it has highlighted a real flaw in the European privacy law which is older than the internet in many ways.

“A very strict reading of the law leads to this very bizarre conclusion that a newspaper can publish information and yet Google can’t link to it,” he said.

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding hailed the decision as a “clear victory” for privacy, adding that it would allow “citizens to take the necessary actions to manage their data”.

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