Search engine giant Google yesterday told City A. M. that it had received 50,000 requests to delete articles since a European court ruling in May ordered it to remove “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” data if an individual requested it.
The European Court of Justice ruling came into force this week Google has started complying with it and honouring requests.
The implications of the ruling were brought into sharp relief yesterday after Google informed the BBC that a blog written by its economics editor Robert Peston on former Merrill Lynch boss Stan O’Neal would be removed from searches.
The column described how O’Neal was forced out of the bank after it racked up huge losses.
Peston later updated his blog to say that the article could still be found if O’Neal’s name was typed into the search engine.
News of the blog’s removal resulted in a deluge of Twitter users posting the link to a Bloomberg article, in which O’Neal reportedly criticised Merrill Lynch's office for calling him while he was on the golf course.