Google never cared very much about privacy, thus the announcement by Google to abide by the European Court landmark case of ‘the right to be forgotten’, has surprise many, and alarmed the Internet community.

Larry Page has warned about risks damaging the next generation of internet start-ups and strengthening the hand of repressive governments looking to restrict online communications.

According to the Financial Times, Google hopes to strike a balance between blocking damaging private information about ordinary Europeans while preserving links to things in the public interest, such as articles about corrupt public officials.   It has formed a committee headed by Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, and David Drummond, general counsel, Jimmy Wales, head of Wikipedia, along with academics and former data regulators from a number of European countries.

The ECJ ruling amounted to the biggest privacy setback for an American internet company in Europe and exposed a widening transatlantic rift over personal data.  It came as Google is struggling against a growing backlash in countries such as Germany and France, from the fallout over the Snowden revelations of US internet surveillance to a backlash over a proposed settlement of its an antitrust case in Brussels.

Source:  Financial Times