"Right to be forgotten" requests

In May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that European residents could ask search engines to filter results for queries that include their name if the results are inadequate, inaccurate, no longer relevant, or excessive. As a result, Microsoft has put in place procedures to ensure we comply in ways that appropriately balance individuals' rights to privacy with the general public's interest in freedom of expression and the free availability of information online.

 

Separately, on January 1, 2016, new amendments to Russia's data protection law came into effect, which require that search engines filter certain search results for queries that include a Russian applicant's name. The Russian law provides enumerated grounds for removal. It requires that search results be removed if the applicant provides adequate proof in support of the claim, and that we reject requests that do not meet the statutory standard.

"Right to be forgotten" requests, January-June 2022

 

Country / Region
Requests received and processed
URLs requested
URLs accepted
URLs rejected
Percentage of URLs accepted

Austria

87

289

148

141

51%

Belgium

82

402

146

256

36%

Bulgaria

9

18

16

2

89%

Croatia

4

16

13

3

81%

Cyprus

4

8

0

8

0%

Czech Republic

6

47

38

9
81%

Denmark

14

40

27

13

68%

Estonia

8

32

25

7

78%

Finland

13

32

12

20

38%

France

1,113

2,901

1,123

1,778

39%

Germany

777

1,896

792

1,104

42%

Greece

5

32

16

16

50%

Hungary

12

32

17

15

53%

Iceland

1

1

1

0

100%

Ireland

34

93

65

28

70%

Italy

353

1,414

704

710

50%

Latvia

4

11

9

2

82%

Liechtenstein

1

1

0

1

0%

Lithuania

1

7

5

2

71%

Luxembourg

2

24

1

23

4%

Malta

10

41

3

38

7%

Netherlands

202

1,313

861

452

66%

Norway

47

287

212

75

74%

Poland

54

137

37

100

27%

Portugal

70

782

148

634
19%

Romania

24

42

23

19
55%

Russia

44

118

102

16

86%

Slovakia

2

4

3

1

75%

Slovenia

7

15

12

3

80%

Spain

245

962

497

465

52%

Sweden

190
650
428

222

66%

Switzerland

74

546

296

250

54%

United Kingdom

831

5,689

3,341

2,348

59%

Total

4,330

17,882

9,121

8,761

58%

Note: This table shows the number of URLs that were accepted and rejected for European and Russian requests received between January 1 and June 30, 2022, that were processed as of July 15, 2022. The number of URLs accepted and rejected may not reflect requests still pending review as of July 15, 2022. For example, processing delays may result if more information is needed to complete the review on a request.

 

Cumulative “Right to be forgotten” requests, May 2014 - June 2022

 

Requests received and processed

URLs requested

URLs accepted

URLs rejected

Percentage of URLs accepted

Total

53,779

186,401

88,140

98,261

47%

Note: This table shows the number of URLs that were accepted and rejected for European and Russian requests received between May 2014 and June 30, 2022, that were processed as of July 15, 2022. The number of URLs accepted and rejected may not reflect requests still pending review as of July 15, 2022. For example, processing delays may result if more information is needed to complete the review on a request.

 


Download previous Right to be Forgotten Request Reports

Note: Reports before H2 2021 are Content Removal Requests Reports, which included “Right to be Forgotten” Requests, Government Requests for Content Removal, and Copyright Removal Requests.  Reports available for H2 2021 and later are the “Right to be Forgotten” Requests for Content Removal Reports.  If you wish to download Copyright Removal Requests Reports or Government Requests for Content Removal Reports for H2 2021 or later, please visit the corresponding web pages for those reports.

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FAQs

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The “Right to be forgotten" Removal Requests Report contains requests from European residents or Russian residents to filter search results about them on Bing for queries that include their names under the European Court of Justice’s 2014 "right to be forgotten" ruling or under amendments to Russia’s data protection law, respectively.

In some countries, individuals can request that search engines remove certain URLs that appear in the results for searches of the requester’s name. This is commonly referred to as the "right to be forgotten." Specific laws in Russia and Europe provide guidelines for determining if a request should be granted for designated individuals. Microsoft provides online forms to easily facilitate the receipt and processing of such requests.

Yes, when search results are removed, Bing provides users with notice at the bottom of the relevant search results page. In the case of content that is filtered upon a search of a person’s name in response to a “right to be forgotten” request, the notice appears via link at the bottom of all search results pages in the applicable market(s).

If a publisher believes links to content have been removed incorrectly from Bing search results, the publisher may contact Bing with specific information about the URL at issue. We encourage publishers to contact Bing via our Webmaster Tools, which offers many helpful resources to publishers including easy access to our webmaster email support link.

In Europe, individuals can request that search engines filter results for queries that include the applicant’s name if the results are inadequate, inaccurate, no longer relevant, or excessive. In accordance with the European Court of Justice’s ruling and related guidelines, we apply a test seeking to appropriately balance individuals’ rights to privacy with the public’s interest in freedom of expression and of access to information online. For more details, please see the Bing Help webpage on submitting privacy-related requests to block results in the EU.

 

For Russia, we follow the January 2016 amendments to Russia’s data protection law. The Russian law provides enumerated grounds for removal and requires that search results be removed if the applicant provides adequate proof in support of the claim. We reject requests that do not meet grounds for removal. For more detail, please see the Bing Help webpage on submitting data protection-related requests to block results for residents of the Russian Federation.

 

When Microsoft receives any request or demand, we seek to appropriately balance individuals’ rights to privacy with the public’s interest in freedom of expression and of access to information online.

No. We rely on each country to designate, by law, the circumstances under which search results must be removed. Because these laws are different, we apply designated criteria and processes that best enable appropriate review and processing under each.