Google updates “Right to be forgotten” form

Google updates “Right to be forgotten” form

Google has recently updated the form through which “right to be forgotten” request can be send. The change was noticed mid-march, whilst submitting a request for a client.

Multiple changes

The first noticeable change is cosmetic; the page has a more ‘textual’ feel. In addition, the options for submitting the form on behalf of someone else (client, family member, etc.) have been made in to radio-buttons. Furthermore, it is now more clear how multiple documents for verifying your identity can be uploaded.

The change on the box “reasons for removal” is unfortunately, also only cosmetic. The character limit has has not been increased. The limited space is a big nuisance for many, as important arguments have be left out due to a lack of space. This change will not mitigate these problems.

Mail

In the e-mails that are received after submitting a request, some changes have been made. The subject-line now includes “Euro DP Notice Web Form Submission”. Do not Google the meaning of “Euro DP”, it is definitively nsfw (in this case it probably stands for ‘data protection’ though). The content of the e-mails has been slightly tweaked. It has become a little more clear what submitters who have had a negative response can do (go to “the authority for data protection in your country”). Off course Google could have easily named the relevant national authority, but that’s making it too easy apparently.

Page still not indexed

It remains problematic and controversial that the page on which request can be made is still not indexed in Google. The irony of this form, meant for a sort of de-indexing of troublesome content, itself not being indexed would be funny if it weren’t so sad. It is very obviously not a mistake but a deliberate measure, as Google knows its own search engine all too well. People trying to fill in the form will have to keep relying on other websites pointing the way (hello, right here!). Though it is understandable that Google, which derives no benefit from extra submissions, only extra costs, is not happy having to process these request, it so happens to be their responsibility to handle this process in an adequate manner. Making sure the form is accessible through their own search engine is part of that responsibility.