What does Right To Be Forgotten mean?
The Right To Be Forgotten is the concept that people have the civil right to request that personal information, videos or images removed from the Internet so that they cannot be found by search engines, and no longer appear in search results for your name.
In May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled in a Spanish case that individuals have The Right to be Forgotten online. Known as the ‘Google Spain case’, this ruling, within the European Union only, makes Google responsible for removing ‘irrelevant’, ‘no longer relevant’ or ‘outdated’ information from search results.
The ruling only applies to a personal issue, meaning you can’t submit a Right To Be Forgotten request for business or commercial content, images or videos.
Can I remove unwanted content about myself online?
You can, but there are certain criteria.
Right To Be Forgotten requests involve scrubbing personal references from search engines such as press coverage, outdated articles, pictures or videos and social media and directory services containing personal information. When you make an application, Google will balance your privacy rights with what’s in the public’s interest to know and the right to distribute information.
Get in touch with Niki today, in complete confidence.
Reasons why Google could refuse a Right to Be Forgotten application
When you make a Right To Be Forgotten request you are best to consult experts like Igniyte who can look into the legal aspects for you. Google will assess each request on a case by case basis. In some cases, Google may ask for more information.
Google will balance your privacy rights with what’s in the public’s interest to know and the right to distribute information. They can and do refuse applications where there is an alternative solution, technical reason or duplicate URL. They may also decline to delist where the page contains information which is strongly in the public interest. This is where it is complex, because so many factors are taken into account, such as the person’s professional life, a past crime, political or public position or whether the content is self-authored, is in a public document or journalistic.
Google has received 732,000 requests since the 2014 ruling, demanding the removal of 2.7 million links (as at October 2018). It has delisted 44% of the URLs requested after it has reviewed them.
What do I need to submit a Right To Be Forgotten application?
To be able to submit a request under the Right to Be Forgotten law, you will need:
- An EU passport or driving licence, to prove your identity.
- Details of the web address or link that you are requesting to be removed.
- The full search term, for example, your name.
- Reasoning as to why you feel the link is ‘irrelevant’, ‘not in the public interest’ or ‘outdated’. This reasoning should be aligned to the EU ruling and cite law wherever possible.
For more information, and to find out how Igniyte can help you with Right To Be Forgotten applications, please get in touch.