Google should block search results that violate privacy, say MPs

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A joint Commons and Lords committee has called for the Government to force Google to block certain search results, according to an article published in the Guardian today.

If the Government decides to act on the suggestions, it will mean that Google will be obliged to censor results that have been found in court to be in breach of someone's privacy - a move that could have serious effects on SEO.

The committee - put together by the Prime Minister last year - criticised Google for its objection to requests to filter results in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in a report published today.

The report also highlights the case of Max Moseley - who said in evidence that he had spent at least half a million pounds attempting to remove traces of a video that was secretly filmed by the News of the World - and says that Google should take a proactive role in monitoring the legality of its search results.

In response, Google reiterated its position: "This is a really important issue for which there are no answers. Particularly when balancing freedom of expression and tackling unlawful content," said a spokesman for the search giant.

He continued: "Requiring search engines to screen the content of their web pages would be like asking phone companies to listen in on every call made across their networks for potentially suspicious activity."

Google also pointed out that it already removes unlawful content which has been flagged up by its users.

The committee called Google's continued refusal to filter its own results "totally unconvincing."

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