Newspaper article International New York Times

Google Plans Europe Tour to Explain Privacy Effort

Newspaper article International New York Times

Google Plans Europe Tour to Explain Privacy Effort

Article excerpt

The series of meetings are part of Google's response to a European court ruling that lets people ask that links about themselves be removed from Internet searches.

Google is about to start a grand tour of Europe.

The company will soon send a group of executives and legal experts, including the executive chairman, Eric E. Schmidt, around the region to explain its stance on online privacy.

The series of meetings, which is expected to start as early as September and last up to nine months, will form part of Google's response to a recent European court ruling that gives people the right to ask that links about themselves be removed from certain Internet searches.

On Friday in Europe, Google opened a website for its 10-person privacy advisory group. The site includes an online form where people can give suggestions on how the company should respond to the court's decision.

The privacy committee includes Mr. Schmidt and Google's top lawyer, David C. Drummond. Other members are Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, who has been a vocal critic of Europe's so- called right to be forgotten, and several European data protection experts, including Jose Luis Pinar, a former Spanish privacy regulator.

Google, which announced the creation of the committee in May, on Friday added members, including Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a former German justice minister, and Sylvie Kauffmann, editorial director at the French newspaper Le Monde.

Google will not pay the external committee members for their time, though it will cover their expenses. The group will publish a report next year recommending how search engines should respond to the European court's privacy ruling. The recommendations, however, will advise the company only on its future privacy efforts and might not be carried out.

The steps come as Google, which runs Europe's most popular search engine, has struggled to deal with the more than 80,000 requests from individuals who want links to online content to be removed. The court's ruling has pitted advocates for freedom of expression against online privacy groups.

Google's efforts to comply with the complicated legal decision have misfired somewhat. …

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