According to a June 26, 2014 article in The Wall Street Journal, GOOGL in Your Value Your Change Short position Google, Inc., started removing results from its search engine under Europe’s new “right to be forgotten,” implementing a landmark ruling by the European Union’s top court that gives individuals the right to request removal of Internet search results for their own names.
Not to be outdone when it comes to privacy legislation, California Senate recently approved SB 1348 requiring online data brokers who sell consumer information to provide an opt-out mechanism and consumer access to the data. The bill, which now moves to the State Assembly for consideration, gives California consumers the right to review the information maintained by a data broker and request that it be permanently removed, within 10 days. Once removed, the information cannot be reposted or sold to a third-party. Notably, the bill attempts to include consumer reporting agencies in the category of data brokers.
Although there is no actual movement on the federal level, the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) urges that Congress consider enacting legislation to make data broker practices more visible to consumers and allow greater control over the immense amounts of personal information that is collected about them and shared by data brokers. In its study presented in a report issued May 27, 2014, the FTC found that data brokers operate with a fundamental lack of transparency.