In an interview with Wall Street Journal’s Editor-in-chief Gerard Baker, anchor Maria Bartiromo from the show ‘Opening Bell’ of Fox Business discussed the recent news about Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) removing the search data of the former Merrill Lynch CEO, Stanley O’Neal.
Commenting on the story, Baker said, “First of all, we don’t quite know how this is discovered. Secondly, we don’t know who asked to have, Google remove this.” He added that it was a couple of months that in a case dealt with in the European Union, it was ruled that people have the right to get their online data deleted from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). As a result, a story on Stanley O’Neal regarding a mortgage foreclosure case in which he was into some trouble was asked to be deleted from Google.
“In their defense they would say: those posts don’t disappear. I mean nothing goes off, it is all in the internet, it just that it won’t show up in Google results. But I don’t agree, because Google is the search engine of choice for most people in the world with 90% market share in Europe. How can something as an important historical fact such as Stanley O’Neal leaving Merill Lynch in 2007? How can that somehow be erased from history? It would be like saying, you know, anything that you didn’t like about, you know President Bush or whatever could be erased, and you wouldn’t be able to find it on a Google search. I mean this whole rule is going to be very very problematic,” Gerard Baker said.
Baker also added the fact that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) had received thousands of requests to remove online references to people as these references were negative in nature and were covered under the EU rule.
Taking the discussion further, Bartiromo discussed with Baker about similar incidents relating to other online companies like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which was recently in the news for conducting an emotional experiment on its users by altering the news feeds shown to them and registering the effects of the news feeds on their resultant positive of negative comments.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) had conducted the experiment in order to know the level to which positive or negative news feeds can influence users emotions and comments.