Bankers and convicts among 2,300 Irish 'right to be forgotten' requests

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Adrian Weckler

Bankers, wealthy drug offenders and others wishing to scrub their reported misdeeds from the internet are among 2,300 Irish 'Right To Be Forgotten' requests from Google since a new European law was introduced last May.

The 2,300 requests relate to 7,150 different website or social media links that are returned in a Google search for individuals' names, according to new figures from the search giant.

However, less than a third (29pc) of such Irish requests to remove the undesired links are successful, Google says.

This is substantially below the average European delisting rate of 41.4pc and remains below the UK removal rate of 37.7pc.

Links to 22 articles published by the Irish Independent and sister publications have been removed so far this year by Google under the system.

These include a court report covering the arrest and conviction of a wealthy individual for allowing his Dublin home to be used for drug offences in 2013.

They also include an employment appeals tribunal report about a banker sacked for sharing a confidential password that gave access to billions in client funds.

According to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon, 30 appeals have been filed to the Office of Data Protection by people unhappy with the outcome of Google's decision on their removal requests.

Ms Dixon said that "quite a number of them have been resolved".

"In a number of cases, having analysed the complaint, we have concurred with Google and understood the reasons why they refused the delisting," she said.

"In a number of other cases, we have disagreed and have set out our views to Google. They have then been resolved to the data subject's satisfaction," Ms Dixon added.

Only six countries (of 32) have a lower success rate for deletion of search result links than Ireland: Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Malta, Portugal and Italy. Austria has the highest success rate, at 49.6pc.