google right to be forgotten
Around 50,000 requests have been approved for removal from Google's European search results.REUTERS

Google has complied with more than half of all link removal requests from its European search results, following the European Union's 'right to be forgotten' ruling in May.

Since the legislation was introduced Google has received around 90,000 requests from individuals seeking to remove links containing personal information that they believe is no longer relevant, around 50,000 of which were approved.

Google - along with other search companies Microsoft and Yahoo - on Thursday met with EU regulators to seek clarification about how the ruling was bring implemented. Citing sources familiar with the matter, both the Wall Street Journal and Reuters say that Google has rejected about 30% of claims and sought extra information in 15% of cases.

For a search result to be removed, the ruling by the European Court of Justice requires that "there's a public interest in the information - for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials."

Such a high removal rate is an indication of how broadly the ruling is being implemented, however the search engine giant came under fire yesterday from regulators for its method of removal.

Currently results are only removed from European search sites like and, meaning web users searching for the information on can easily access it.

Google has previously stated that it was "disappointed" with the ruling to introduce the legislation, which has also faced criticism from free-speech advocates.

"There is a significant, difficult and philosophical question (to be answered) around the balance between privacy and free speech," Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, told IBTimes UK at the time of the ruling. "I think what this decision highlights is that we've got (that balance) all wrong."

Wales is serving on an advisory board assembled by Google to look into how right to be forgotten requests can be dealt with.