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Russian President Putin signs 'right to be forgotten' bill into law

The new legislation would require search engines to delete links to information and content based on user requests.

By Jared M. Feldschreiber
Russian President Putin signs 'right to be forgotten' bill into law
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law requiring search engines to delete links to personal information based on user requests . File Photo by Shutterstock

MOSCOW, July 15 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law on Tuesday that will require search engines to delete links to personal information based on user requests.

Aleksey Kazakov, one of the bill's authors, said search engines would only be obligated to delete links based on a court order, but also would have the option of removing information voluntarily in accordance with a user's request, Russia Beyond the Headlines reported.

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The Kremlin press service said that "under the new federal law, search engine operators must on request delete the links to pages that allow access to the Internet information about private persons if spreading such information violates Russian law, if it is false or has become outdated due to subsequent events or actions."

"The "right to be forgotten" bill -- as it was called by the media -- had been drafted in May by four caucuses of the State Duma.

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The new law does not regulate information describing criminal prosecutions with which the statute of limitations has not yet expired or convictions that have not been served or removed.

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The practice of deleting personal content from search results has been a contentious issue in many European countries.

The EU Court of Justice ruled in May 2014 in favor of the "right to be forgotten." It required Google to build a system to allow individuals to request the company remove certain search results containing personal information that is either outdated or considered irrelevant.

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The Russian law will take effect Jan. 1.

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