Since the European Court of Justice handed down the ruling where Google has to respect the rights of European citizens to be forgotten, life for the search company has been easy. The search company has already received over 50,000 takedown requests, and one of those requests is related to a BBC article.
The article in question is called "Merill's Mess," and was written by Robert Peston, an economic editor for the BBC. The subject matter of the article centers around Merrill Lynch's subprime mortgages and huge losses on securities.
While the article is still available on the web, a user can no longer find it through Google search European angle. That's a huge plus for Merill Lynch, but a great setback for editor Robert Peston and the BBC.
According to Peston, he received the following email from Google, highlighting the removal of the article for its search engine.
"Notice of removal from Google Search: we regret to inform you that we are no longer able to show the following pages from your website in response to certain searches on European versions of Google," says Google.
Now, the first thing that comes to mind is that this takedown request must have come from someone who works for Merrill Lynch, or used to work for the company. Additionally, could very well be a person from inside the comment area who might have wanted to hide something they said from Google's search engine.
There is no way to tell since Google is not obligated to share this information with anyone.
Peston is not a happy man when it comes down to his article being removed, and the new ruling handed down by the European Court of Justice. In his eyes, the Merrill Lynch situation, which took place back in 2007, is of great interest to the public, and it should not be hidden from the European community.
We expect as more European citizens continue to take advantage of the new ruling, more high profile articles will be removed by Google, which in turn would cause more complaints like this one.
Not everyone are in agreement with this new ruling. However, privacy advocates appear to be enjoying this very much.