Yes, the risks are more or less significant depending on the problem. When following a request for the right to be forgotten for Google to delete a link from its index, Google can warn the editor of the site in question and indicate which page is going to be delisted. We know that Google does this, especially for press titles. This leads to the risk of further negative impact for the person who filed the request.
The editors of internet sites are warned of actual withdrawals due to the right to be forgotten. Many article titles are echoes: they were warned through the service webmaster tool (a service provided by Google dedicated to administrators of internet sites) that one or more of their articles have been retired from the index of the search engine because a request was granted under the terms of the right to be forgotten. They receive the following message, containing the relevant links
“It is with regret that we must inform you that in response to certain research conducted on the European versions of Google, we are no longer able to display the following pages from your website.”
The wording is ambiguous. Each time, the article in question is actually removed from the results pages that are displayed as a result of a search for the applicant’s name.
As a whole, today the press is affected by the consequences of the decision of the right to be forgotten by the ECJ and the risks that that poses to the freedom of expression. Various media outlets already published articles on their fear of there being too much power in the decision left to search engines and denouncing the withdrawal of some of their articles.
Therefore there exists a real risk: that the unhappy editors of a retracted article will publish new articles that include the first and last names of the people involved, to condemn their withdrawal. The applicant who desires to have an article retracted could find themselves mentioned in even more articles, which is the opposite effect that people look for when submitting a request under the right to be forgotten.
Last update: 2014-11-13