Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the law on “the right to be forgotten” into effect. The new law will allow Russian citizens to extrajudicially force websites and Internet search engines to remove certain content about past events in their lives.
Content which should be removed upon an individual’s request includes false information about the individual’s life, or information that has “become outdated due to later events or actions of the individual.” The criteria for this kind of information are not detailed in the law. The law stipulates that search engines are to review such complaints over the course of 10 days.
The law has attracted widespread criticism from Russia’s Internet industry. Yandex, Russia’s biggest search engine, has stated that the law violates the right to access to information.
The European Court of Justice ruled in May 2014 that search engines must remove search results upon request from users, if the information is false or no longer relevant.