Thousands of European citizens have grabbed the opportunity to remove links related to their past from the Google search results, with requests stacking up.

Google confirmed that more than 12,000 EU citizens have requested to be forgotten, within 12 hours since the roll out of the web form, set up in compliance with the EU’s highest court ruling.

Google flooded with 'right to be forgotten' requests

Google flooded with ‘right to be forgotten’ requests

Having lost a lawsuit with a Spanish citizen, seeking to remove “no longer relevant” information about his past from the search results, the company revealed the new removal request under European Data Protection law.

Google’s CEO Larry Page warned that ruling might empower dictators and stated that “It will be used by other governments that aren’t as forward and progressive as Europe to do bad things. Other people are going to pile on, probably… for reasons most Europeans would find negative.”

According to the Google Data related to requests, Germany leads with around 40 percent of the requests, while Spain and Britain are following very closely in numbers. A majority of the requests were generally related to remove information about frauds, scams or other criminal records.

Google will review each request individually and accept it or reject it based on certain criteria based on the regulations formulated by EU court. The company will weigh the demand for the requested users’ privacy of information and the public rights to know in each case and sort the request accordingly.

“When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information—for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials,” Google explaining the form said.

However, even upon accepting the request, the data will be removed only from the European version of the search results and will still be available in the version.

According to the various media reports, the first few requests submitted were – a man convicted for child pornography possession, a politician who misbehaved in office, and an actor who had an affair with a teenager.