Technology giant Google launched an online form on Friday giving European users a chance to get personal information about themselves removed from search results.
The move follows a ruling earlier in May by the Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice (ECJ). This came after a Spanish man complained to the Spanish data protection agency that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google's search results infringed his privacy.
Google originally argued that forcing it to remove such data amounts to censorship, but the new form will be its first attempt at complying with the ruling. On the online form, Google states that certain users can ask for the removal of search results that include their name where those results are "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed."
The company added that it would assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public's right to know and distribute information.
"When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there's a public interest in the information – for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions or public conduct of government officials," it said in the press release accompanying the new form.
Users will need to include a copy of a valid form of photographic identification as well as a name and email address. They will also have to provide a link to the page that they wish to be removed from the search results, explain why it is about them and describe why it is "irrelevant, outdated or otherwise inappropriate."
Google added that this new form is just the first step on the road to compliance and is working to finalize its implementation of removal requests under European data protection law as soon as possible.
For the California-based multinational, the new ruling is proving to be a major headache and the company's executives aren't shy to show it. Speaking at the U.S. technology show Code Conference on Wednesday, Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin joked to an audience that he wished he could just "forget the ruling", but quickly explained that the company would be implementing the measures in Europe over the coming months.