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Report: 2 years in, 75 percent of Right to Be Forgotten asks denied by Google

Report: 2 years in, 75 percent of Right to Be Forgotten asks denied by Google

It has been two years since the Court of Justice of the European Union established the “Right to be forgotten” (RTBF). Reputation VIP subsequently launched as one way for consumers in Europe to submit RTBF requests to Bing and Google.

The company has periodically used consumer submissions through the site (130,000 URLs) to compile and publish aggregate data on RTBF trends. A new report looks at two years’ worth of cumulative data on the nature, geographic location and success rates of RTBF requests.

The top three countries from which RTBF requests originate are Germany, the UK and France. In fact, more than half of all requests have come from Germany and the UK


Google refuses roughly 70 percent to 75 percent of requests, according to the data. The chart below reflects the most common categories or justifications for URL removal requests, on the left. On the right are the reasons that Google typically denies RTBF requests.

Google most frequently denies removal requests that concern professional activity. Following that, Google often denies requests where the individual involved is the source of the content sought to be removed.


The following list shows the breakdown of URLs submitted by site category. Accordingly, Europeans request more link removals from social sites than any other category. That’s followed by directories, blogs and so on:

  1. Social networks/communities
  2. Directories/Content aggregators
  3. Blogs
  4. Press sites
  5. Wikipedia
  6. Others (real estate, e-commerce, adverts, events, etc.)

By comparison, the links that are actually removed are more often from directories (not clearly defined here) than other site categories. Social site link removals are granted much less often than they’re requested.


Reputation VIP also points out in the report that Google’s processing time has improved in the two years since RTBF was announced. It has cut time from 49 days per request to 20 days (or less), according to the report.