Financial News

  • 18 July 2014, 13:24

Microsoft's Bing Starts Removing Search Results

Got a shady past that you have managed to erase from Google's search results?

That hasn't stopped people from looking up your big secret on Microsoft's search rival Bing - until now.

The company has launched a web form where requests for search removals can be filed, allowing individuals to request that Bing stop providing links to certain web pages.

The form asks for the requester's full name, country of residence, proof of identity, and a contact email.

Users are then asked whether they are a public figure (defined as "politician, celebrity, etc") and whether their role involves leadership trust or safety ("for example teacher, clergy, community leader, police, doctor, etc").

After that, the requester is asked to enter the page they wish to have blocked and the reasons why.

The form is more detailed than that of Google, which began taking requests for takedowns in May.

It understood to have received around 70,000 requests since then.

The move by the search giants was triggered by a European court's privacy ruling, saying people have the right to be forgotten.

Google has been outspoken in its opposition to the ruling, while Microsoft has stayed quiet.

Last month the first batch of Google links was removed.

They included stories relating to a now-retired Scottish Premier League referee called Dougie McDonald who resigned following controversy over a penalty he awarded in a Celtic game.

Details of a solicitor's 2002 fraud trial have also been scrubbed, along with articles relating to a couple caught having sex on a train and a Muslim man who accused an airline of refusing to employ him because of his face.

BBC economics editor Robert Peston had a blog post removed in which he wrote about Stan O'Neal, the former boss of the investment bank Merrill Lynch.

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