Life was much easier back in the early 2000s when social media didn’t really exist yet, and where you couldn’t really search for information on someone quite as easily as you can today. However that has changed considerably over the years where something you did a few years ago can still be easily dug up today.

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This is where Google’s “Right to be forgotten” feature came in, where Google would remove links from search results that would direct others to such information. In Google’s latest transparency report, the company has revealed that they have received as many as 2.4 million requests to be forgotten since launching it in 2014, and that out of the 2.4 million requests, Google has complied with nearly half of them at 43%.

For those unfamiliar with “Right to be forgotten”, this is where users can request that Google delist websites in its search results that might contain information about them. For example if someone were to be wrongfully accused of a crime and later cleared of all charges, they might have trouble finding a job as potential employers might search for them online and find these old articles.

“Right to be forgotten” will remove the links to such articles in search results, which doesn’t completely wipe them off the internet, but given Google’s reach and influence, should make a difference. Google’s transparency report also reveals that 89% of requests were made by individuals and that the majority involves minors at 40%, followed by companies and politicians at 21% each.

Also what’s interesting about this report is that as pointed out by Gizmodo, there seems to be a number of groups who are filing requests on the behalf of others, suggesting that this seems to have created a new industry of “reputation fixers”.

Filed in Web. Read more about Google, Legal, Privacy and Social Hit.

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