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Google Taking Requests To Censor Results In Europe

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Europe's highest court ruled its citizens are guaranteed a "right to be forgotten" that allows them to request negative material must be removed from Internet search engines if requested (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Europe’s highest court ruled its citizens are guaranteed a “right to be forgotten” that allows them to request negative material must be removed from Internet search engines if requested (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is starting to accept requests from Europeans who want to purge unflattering information that pops up about them in Web links retrieved by the world’s dominant search engine.

The demands can be submitted on a Web page that Google opened late Thursday in response to a landmark ruling issued two weeks ago by Europe’s highest court.

The decision gives Europeans the means to polish their online reputations by petitioning Google and other search engines to remove potentially damaging links to newspaper articles and other websites with embarrassing information about their past activities.

Google’s compliance thrusts the company into the prickly position of having to balance privacy concerns and “the right to be forgotten” against the principles of free expression and “the right to know.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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