European privacy requests: Local listing removals FAQs

How does Google’s process work?
Individuals or their representatives seeking the removal of a local listing must first complete this web form. The individual will receive an automatic reply confirming that we received the request. We assess each request on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, we may ask the individual for more information. After we reach a decision, we'll send the individual an email notifying him or her of our decision, and, if we don't remove, a brief explanation.
Who may request a removal?
Individuals can request the removal of a local listing according to European data protection laws. We also allow people to make requests on behalf of others, so long as they can affirm that they're legally authorised to do so.
Who makes decisions about requests to remove local listings?
A team of specially trained reviewers make the relevant determinations. This team uses dedicated escalation paths to senior staff and attorneys at Google to adjudicate on difficult and challenging cases.
How does Google evaluate requests?

We carefully developed criteria in alignment with requirements of European data protection laws. The criteria help us identify situations in which the data subject’s interests outweigh the public’s interest in showing local listings (i.e., allowing consumers to access information about businesses), under a GDPR legitimate interest balancing test.

After a request is submitted to us via our web form, it undergoes a manual review. Our evaluation process consists of 4 main steps:

  1. Does the request contain all the necessary information for us to make a decision?
  2. Does the person making the request have a connection to a European country, such as residency or citizenship?
  3. Does the request relate to information that is subject to European data protection laws?
  4. Is there an overriding public interest in that information remaining available in the circumstances?

If an individual files a request with us that doesn't contain sufficient information for us to make a decision, we may ask for supplementary information to support our evaluation.

What happens if an individual disagrees with Google’s decision?
If we decide not to remove a local listing, an individual may request that a local data protection authority review our decision.
What is an example of circumstances under which Google would remove a local listing?
If a business never existed at a given location, there's a clear absence of public interest and thus we would remove the local listing.