[SAN FRANCISCO] Internet giant Google said on Wednesday it has received 348,085 requests for select search results to be "forgotten" in Europe, with users in France and Germany leading the way.
Since a European Court of Justice ruling in May 2014 recognising the "right to be forgotten" on the net, Google users can ask the search engine to remove results about them that are inaccurate or no longer relevant.
Silicon Valley-based Google, a subsidiary of newly-created parent company Alphabet, set up an online form that people in Europe can fill out to ask for information to be excluded from search results.
In a detailed report, Google said that right-to-be-forgotten requests have targeted slightly more than 1.23 million Internet pages (URLs), and that it agreed to remove 42 per cent of them from online search results in Europe.
France was the country with the top number of requests, accounting for 73,399 applications aimed at nearly a quarter of a million URLs, followed by Germany with 60,198 requests concerning 220,589 URLs.
In both countries, about 48 per cent of the unwanted links were eliminated from Google search results, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the report indicated that Google granted about 38 per cent of the 43,101 requests submitted in the United Kingdom; 37 per cent of the 33,106 requests in Spain, and just shy of 30 per cent of the 26,186 requests made in fifth-placed Italy.
Google said it complied with nearly 46 per cent of the 10,121 requests in Belgium, nearly 41 per cent of the 9,687 requests in Sweden, and about 45 per cent of the 8,339 requests in Switzerland.
Facebook was the top online spot where people wanted information forgotten from searches, with a total of 10,220 URLs removed, according to Google.
The second most common venue for removals was profileengine.com, with 7,986 links to the people-focused search engine removed from Google search results, the report indicated.
The list of Top 10 sites for URLs to be forgotten included Google Groups, YouTube, Badoo, Annuaire, Twitter, and the Google+ social network.