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Google: 1 Million Links Evaluated for 'Right to Be Forgotten'

Google shared the statistics of its first year complying with Europe's "Right to Be Forgotten," revealing that it has evaluated over a million links.

Google says it has evaluated over a million links in handling some 282,508 "Right To Be Forgotten" requests since it launched the request process in Europe on May 29, 2014. European law requires search sites like Google and Bing to remove search results requested by users, provided they meet certain requirements. Google gave several real-world examples of what is and isn't considered a valid removal request.

Related: Google Opens Privacy Web Form For 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests

In general, requests for the removal of links that were embarrassing or professionally damaging (references to old criminal convictions, reported sex crimes, possession of child pornography) were denied. Requests to remove things like overturned convictions and crimes of which the person was the victim instead of perpetrator, however, were granted.

Overall, of the million-plus URLs Google was requested to look at, 359,803, or about 41 percent, were removed from results. The most requests (over 58,000) came from people in France, followed by Germany, Great Britain, Spain and Italy. The websites themselves — newspapers, court records, and so on — are of course still online, but no longer appear in search results when searching for the requester's name.

Related: Consumer Watchdog: Google Should Extend 'Right To Be Forgotten' to U.S.

Currently the "Right To Be Forgotten" law only applies to members of the European Union, and results are only removed from the local version of Google — in Italy, or in Germany, for example — and not from, the largest, U.S.-centered site. That could change, however, if French regulators get their way.