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The Drum

Google data breach unveils 95% of right to be forgotten requests come from the general public

Data accidentally released by Google has revealed that 95.6 per cent of all 'right to be forgotten' requests come from members of the public.

Hidden in the source code of the company’s transparency report, the Guardian gleaned additional information from the company.

Of the 220,000 requests made by the time the report was launched, under five per cent have been made by criminals, celebrities and politicians, according to the report.

The findings pivot the argument that the scheme is only in place to help the rich and famous whitewash their reputations.

Google confirmed the legitimacy of the data, adding that it was an unintentional leak.

Google said: "We've always aimed to be as transparent as possible about our right to be forgotten decisions. The data the Guardian found in our Transparency Report's source code does of course come from Google, but it was part of a test to figure out how we could best categorise requests.

“We discontinued that test in March because the data was not reliable enough for publication. We are however currently working on ways to improve our transparency reporting."

The EU ruling has had a number of teething problems since its implementation in 2014, one of which is the BBC’s publishing of its links which have been removed by the company.