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Explainer: why Google delists some news articles and not others under ‘right to be forgotten’ law

The giant search engine is under scrutiny after delisting a number of news articles relating to the legal and business affairs of Sean Quinn’s family. How does Google decide which articles remain in the public interest and which ones can be scrubbed from the searchable internet?

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Businessman Sean Quinn

Businessman Sean Quinn

Sean Quinn

Sean Quinn

Sean Quinn at the High Court in Dublin this morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 19, 2012. Bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn has been spared jail after the High Court in Dublin adjourned his contempt of court hearing and gave his new legal team two weeks to examine the case. See PA story COURTS Quinn Ireland. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Sean Quinn at the High Court in Dublin this morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 19, 2012. Bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn has been spared jail after the High Court in Dublin adjourned his contempt of court hearing and gave his new legal team two weeks to examine the case. See PA story COURTS Quinn Ireland. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire

A person wearing a protective masks runs past a Google campus in Mountain View, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Silicon Valley has the lowest office vacancy rate in the U.S., even as technology companies embrace remote work. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A person wearing a protective masks runs past a Google campus in Mountain View, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Silicon Valley has the lowest office vacancy rate in the U.S., even as technology companies embrace remote work. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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Businessman Sean Quinn

How does Google decide how to delist a news article from its search engine under the European ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ privacy law?

In recent days, the Irish Independent revealed that Google has delisted several news articles about the family of the businessman Sean Quinn from its search engine at the Quinn family’s request.


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