Google has been inundated by 12,000 separate requests from individuals seeking to have web links to their past removed from the popular search engines results on the first day of enforcement of the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’.
The internet giant has been instructed by an EU court to hide information on individuals when asked to do so by the persons concerned, resulting in an influx of such requests as the new rules come into force.
To cope with demand Google has published a form for people to fill in, indicating the specific information they wish to be suppressed when conducting full name searches. Launched on Friday applications were being filed at the rate of 20 a minute during the peak rush from across the EU.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr show Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales observed of the new rules: “They don’t censor the US version. That is not going to happen. There are many search engines around the world which don’t have a presence in Europe and who won’t abide by this ruling.”
Amongst those seeking to hide elements of their past are convicted criminals, paedophiles, a doctor and a politician.
Google's CEO, Larry Page has already warned the EU that the decision could damage the future of tech start-ups and empower censorship within Government regimes.