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Privacy group files FTC complaint to push Google to extend right to be forgotten to US

Grant Gross | July 7, 2015
Google's refusal to implement the EU's controversial right to be forgotten rules in the U.S. amounts to an unfair and deceptive business practice, a frequent critic of the search engine giant said.

Google has managed right to be forgotten requests in Europe in a way that is not "burdensome" to the company, Consumer Watchdog said. Since the EU implemented the right to be forgotten rule, Google has received about 1 million requests to remove links from its search engine.

Google's cost of reviewing requests should be part of its "reasonable cost of doing business as a search engine," Simpson said. The rule should apply in the U.S. not only to Google, but to other search engines as well, he added.

Consumer Watchdog has focused on Google because it is "so dominant as a search engine," Simpson said.

Consumer Watchdog is not attempting to bring strong EU privacy laws to the U.S., Simpson added. But real people are being "hurt" by Google's failure to honor U.S. requests, he said.

"We're not arguing that European laws should apply in the U.S.," he said. "We're saying that aggressively marketing yourself as being concerned about consumers' privacy, but not offering a key privacy tool is deceptive."

 

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