Yahoo Japan sets out procedure for search result removal

The Japan Times

MAR 31, 2015

Yahoo Japan Corp. has announced the conditions for when it will erase Internet search results containing sensitive information that individuals want removed.

Search results obtained by typing in people’s names that show details about their medical history or past petty offenses will be deleted because displaying them is likely to infringe their rights, Yahoo Japan said.

The company unveiled a set of rules under which it will comply with removal requests after a panel of experts, meeting since last November, discussed what action may be needed given an increase in public awareness of issues related to the so-called right to be forgotten.

Before deciding whether to meet a removal request, Yahoo Japan will examine such details as whether the individual involved is an adult or minor. Another factor is whether plaintiffs are public figures such as lawmakers, high-ranking company officials or show business figures.

Yahoo Japan is expected to take a restrained approach toward removal of information whose disclosure is considered to be in the public interest.

Information whose disclosure clearly infringes on people’s rights includes the addresses and telephone numbers of ordinary people not currently in the public domain, the company said.

Yahoo Japan will also prevent information that courts have ordered deleted from being included in search results.

As for child pornography and “revenge porn” — intimate images published without the subject’s approval — Yahoo Japan will take action without waiting for court judgments.

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