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Google makes U-turn on deletion of link about ex-Merrill boss O'Neal

04 July 2014  |  16918 views  |  0 keyboard

Following a public uproar, Google has reversed its decision to remove links to a BBC article about former Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O'Neal, according to Reuters.

On Tuesday Google notified the BBC that it had it removed a link to a 2007 blog post about O'Neal by economics editor Robert Peston under the European court's new "right to be forgotten" ruling.

O'Neal says that he has "no knowledge" of the removal of the link to Peston's post, which is about the ex-Merrill boss's downfall as the bank floundered during the subprime crisis.

Only one link to the post was removed by Google, meaning, according to Peston, that: "It is now almost certain that the request for oblivion has come from someone who left a comment about the story."

With even European Commission spokesman Ryan Heath suggesting that Google's decision was "not good judgement", the search giant has restored links to the BBC post, according to Reuters.

The new "right to be forgotten law", which Google fought, lets people within the EU request that data about themselves be deleted. According to the BBC, Google is now sifting through more than 70,000 individual requests made between 29 May and 30 June.

But as the first links were taken down over the last couple of days, Google has been criticised for interpreting the law incorrectly, prompting it to reverse some decisions, including on the Peston post.

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