New Microsoft Transparency Hub Includes Content-Removal Info

Microsoft has gathered its reports into its newTransparency Hub, aimed at providing the public with easy access to data concerning the Redmond, Wash., software giant.The Website “includes a new transparency report that details requests we receive from a variety of parties seeking the removal of online content,” John Frank, deputy general counsel and vice president of Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs, said in an Oct. 14announcement. It joins other disclosures from the company like the Law Enforcement Requests Reportand U.S. National Security Orders Report, which have been “extensively redesigned,” he added.It’s the first time the company has published statistics pertaining to content-removal requests. “The majority of requests covered by this report are for the removal of links to content from our search engine, Bing,” Frank stated. Requests fall into three categories, those from governments, copyright owners or European residents asserting their “Right to be Forgotten.”The controversial Right to be Forgotten (RTBF) law gives Europeans living in the EU the right to have damaging, inaccurate or outdated Web links removed from search engines. Earlier this year, Google revealed that it had received 254,000 RTBF requests and evaluated more than 900,000 URLs in the year since the mandate went into effect (May 2014).