Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Online Reputations

Google, doctors, and the “right to be forgotten”

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 06 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h27

Google removes 4th piece of content from The BMJ in its search engine results in Europe

On 28 May 2015 Google alerted us to a fourth piece of content removed from its search engine results in Europe under "right to be forgotten."

Doubts raised over cancer vaccine study

....along with its standard explainer:

"Due to a request under data protection law in Europe, we are no longer able to show one or more pages from your site in our search results in response to some search queries for names or other personal identifiers. Only results on European versions of Google are affected. No action is required from you.

"These pages have not been blocked entirely from our search results, and will continue to appear for queries other than those specified by individuals in the European data protection law requests we have honored. Unfortunately, due to individual privacy concerns, we are not able to disclose which queries have been affected.

"Please note that in many cases, the affected queries do not relate to the name of any person mentioned prominently on the page. For example, in some cases, the name may appear only in a comment section.

"If you believe Google should be aware of additional information regarding this content that might result in a reversal or other change to this removal action, you can use our form at Please note that we can't guarantee responses to submissions to that form."

The feature "Google, doctors and the right to be forgotten" (BMJ 2015;350:h27) explains more about the ruling

Competing interests: No competing interests

04 June 2015
David R Payne
Digital Editor
BMJ House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR