Bing and Yahoo respond to 'right to be forgotten' requests

Microsoft's Bing has made its first batch of refusals to delete search results based on Europe's right to be forgotten.

Microsoft and Yahoo have started to act upon requests by Europeans to stop returning certain results when people search for their name.

Microsoft rolled out its request form this July , allowing Europeans to make the delinking requests for its Bing search engine. In May the European Court of Justice decided that Europeans had a right to ask data controllers to stop delivering search results for their name that link to material that's out of date, no longer relevant, or excessive. Microsoft's form is similar to the one Google made available for Europeans to submit requests to its widely-used search engine. According to recent figures, Google grants around one-third of such requests .

According to Reputation VIP, which runs the site and submits requests on behalf of people wanting delinking, Microsoft has only just now processed its first batch of requests. 

"There have been 699 demands for 'search engine result' removal requests on [Microsoft's] Bing handled via since the 23rd of July, representing a total of 2,362 URLs. So far, 79 requests have received an answer from Bing," it said

To date, Microsoft has knocked back two requests because they were "unjustified" and 77 others because the link was hosted on a social network and Microsoft thinks it would be more effective to request content be removed directly from that network.

Reputation VIP notes that Bing represents 22 percent of the removal requests it's received at while Google represents 78 percent.

According to Google's latest figures, it's received 174,226 requests and has stopped linking to 58 percent of 602,479 URLs those requests related to.

Europe's group of privacy regulators last week published guidelines on how they believe search engines should handle 'right to be forgotten' requests.

Google currently only applies deletions to its local European domains such as and but not to However, data protection authorities said that delisting should be effective on all relevant .com domains.

They also advised search engines against informing publishers of pages affected by removals — something that Google tested early on.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo has also begun processing removal requests. "We will carefully evaluate each request with the goal of balancing the individual's right to privacy with considerations of the public's right to information," a Yahoo spokeswoman told the publication.

"In response to a May 2014 decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union, European residents can request that Yahoo block certain search results in Europe. Requests can be submitted through our intake form. We will carefully evaluate each request with the goal of balancing the individual’s right to privacy with considerations of the public's right to information," a Yahoo spokesperson said.

ZDNet has asked Microsoft for comment and will update the story if it receives any.

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