European citizens who want their names removed from search results now have a second search engine they can ask to “forget” them — Bing.
Microsoft is now taking “right to be forgotten” requests to remove search results from Bing. The move comes more than a month after Google first began taking similar requests in response to an earlier European Court of Justice ruling that found EU citizens have a “right to be forgotten” online — and that search companies could be required to remove links to results that could damage an individual’s reputation.
Microsoft’s four-part form requires more information than the one Google unveiled in May. In addition to verifying their identity and EU citizenship, those making requests are required to disclose whether they are a public figure or whether they currently occupy, or expect to occupy, a leadership role within their community — such as a police officer, teacher, doctor or member of the clergy.
Microsoft seems to be requiring the extra information in an attempt to dissuade users from abusing the system. Google was quickly overwhelmed with requests after it first released a similar tool in May. The company has reportedly received more than 250,000 requests— each of which must be addressed individually.
Google has already come under fire from privacy advocates for its handling of the requests — because individuals whose requests are granted will only have results removed from the European versions of Google, not from google.com. It’s not clear whether Microsoft will take a similar approach to Bing search results, but the company confirmed to the The Wall Street Journal that it plans to participate in a meeting with EU privacy regulators to discuss implementation of the law.
Google and Yahoo were also invited to the meeting — and though the companies said “they plan to cooperate,” we don’t know yet whether representatives from the two companies will also attend.