With more than 21,000 Forget.me registrations in less than 3 months, Reputation VIP has been able to observe the way Google deals with your Right to be forgotten requests and gives you up-to-date answers to your questions.
This study was done by Reputation VIP and is based on more than 15,000 URLs sent to Google via Forget.me, from 30 different countries.

Infographic: How Google treats right to be forgotten requests

What are the responses you could get following a Google Right to be forgotten request?
Reputation VIP has observed the following response system, with 3 possibilities:
Yes: Google will tell you that your request was granted and your URLs will be taken out of the index in the next few hours.
No: Google will tell you it has refused to take your URLs out of the index. The search engine has 11 different criteria for a refusal. The most frequent is ‘Related to your professional life, which concerns 26% of the URLs.
Question: Google will ask you for more information to be able to start dealing with your request.

It is important to note that of the 15,061 URLs studied, 7,085 URLs received a response, whereas 7,976 did not, meaning 56% have not yet been dealt with by Google.

Breakdown by type of replies

Breakdown of requests

Breakdown of the “no” replies by type or refusal

The questions are mostly on the following topics:

Right to be forgotten type of refusal

– Does your request concern a pseudonym?
– You have made an error in your request, can you correct it?
– Can you prove your link to the country concerned?
– Why is the URL inappropriate or no longer relevant?
– Can you prove you are not guilty of what you were accused of?
– Can you prove what you were accused of is no longer relevant?

Does Google often say yes?

Reputation VIP has calculated the changes in the number of Yeses and Nos over a period of time. And we can see that Google granted many more requests in the beginning: 57% in the 26th week, whereas in the 36th week only 28% of replies were positive.

Breakdown of the replies over time

Breakdown yes no

How long might you have to wait for a reply from Google?
The time o taken to deal with a request progressively shortens over time; we can see it decline from 44 days in week 26 to just 4 days in week 36.

response time

We can also see, on the graph comparing the number of requests sent per week to the number of requests dealt with per week, that Google received too many requests to deal with at the start, but the search engine has progressively caught up, now dealing with more demands than it receives per week.

urls processed by Google

However, even though the average time it takes to deal with a request has changed considerably, we must remember that more than half of the URLs have not yet been dealt with, and therefore be prepared to wait many weeks for a reply.

What is a public personality according to Google?

To look a bit further into the different types of refusals, Reputation VIP delved into the negative ‘Role in public life’ replies and checked what the professions of the applicants were. This is how they were able to start defining the above notion, which was not made clear by Google when the form was launched. The following professions came up:
– TV presenter
– Journalist
– Politician
– Business leader
– Famous artist
“These elements are proof of a first essential step for the Right to be forgotten. Google has started to put things in place and organize its processes. We are faced with a judicial innovation that we are just scraping the surface of. The parties involved need time, in particular Google and the Data Protection Authorities of each country (ICO, CPVP, BFDI, CNIL, etc.), to refine the rules and correct practices. The months to come will allow us to see how it evolves, and it will certainly be very exciting”, says Bertrand Girin, head of Reputation VIP.