Google has officially confirmed that it received 12,000 requests to be forgotten from EU citizens on the first day that it offered the ability to do so, according to a report from the AFP. The requests were submitted Friday, after Google offered up an online form for users to fill out in order to ask that search results related to their name be removed from Google’s listings.
The European Court of Justice ruled earlier in May that Google had to comply with a Spanish man’s request to have search results related to his name and a foreclosure on a property removed, since the man had resolved the foreclosure matter and thus argued that it should be forgotten. Google then quickly promised that it would create a form, much like its copyright content takedown request, in order to comply with the ruling and provide other EU citizens the opportunity to make similar requests.
Google says it will look at each request submitted individually to figure out whether it fits into the criteria put forth by the EU court before either complying with or denying the requests from private citizens. Should it comply, the search engine operator provided no exact timeline on how long it would take for links to be scrubbed.
If this pace keeps up, Google could have to devote a lot of new resources to monitoring and assessing these requests, but it’s likely that the day one total is more of a peak than something that will become consistent over time. Even so, the decision, and the resulting change to Google results and its operation, could have significant long-term effects.