Right to be Forgotten

If searching for your name online shows unwanted content that could give people a negative perception of your character, then it could affect you personally and professionally.

Unwanted online content can be severely damaging to your reputation and can impact you in many ways.

Can I remove unwanted content about myself online?

In May of 2014 the European Court of Justice ruled in a Spanish case that individuals in the UK and EU 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ruling, within the European Union only, makes Google responsible for removing ‘irrelevant’, ‘no longer relevant’ or ‘outdated’ information from search results.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. A request regarding a business or commercially related content will be dismissed.

Right to Be Forgotten requests can come in the following forms:

  • Local press coverage revealing your name due to a minor incident
  • Outdated magazine articles
  • Pictures or videos online

Reasons why Google could refuse an application

When you make a request, Google will balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s interest to know and the right to distribute information. They could refuse an application if:

There is a public interest in the information, for example information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials. 

What do I need to make an application?

To be able to submit a request under the Right to Be Forgotten law, you will need the following:

  • An EU passport or driving licence, to prove identity (you can submit on behalf of others)
  • Details of the web address 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  • Reasoning as to why you feel the link is ‘irrelevant’, ‘not in the public interest’ or ‘outdated’.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

New UK Data Protection law changes explained

The UK government has proposed changes to data protection laws, and if passed by parliament in September 2017, will mean British people will gain more control over their personal information.

The laws will give people the right to ask for information posted online in the past, especially when they were children, to be removed from online platforms.

The changes will put more pressure on organisations and companies to ensure data is kept secure, and require them to delete online information on request.

Companies that don’t keep data secure will be hit with large fines if they have any data breach or loss of information.

The proposed changes would:

  • Make it easier for people to withdraw consent for their personal data to be used and allow people to ask for data to be deleted
  • Require companies to gain ‘explicit’ consent when processing sensitive personal data
  • Enable parents to give consent for their child’s data to be used
  • Allow people to ask for old posts to be deleted from online platforms
  • Expand personal data to include IP addresses, DNA, and small text files or ‘cookies’
  • Enable people to more easily obtain information held by organisations about them
  • Create new criminal offences to discourage firms from making it easy to identify people from anonymised data

Right to be Forgotten rules currently apply to search engines, such as Google, which are required to remove information on specific people from search results if requested.

Under the new laws, companies would still have the right to refuse to delete information on the grounds of freedom of expression, or if the information is of scientific or historical importance.

For more information, and to find out how Igniyte can help you with Right to be Forgotten applications, please get in touch.

Get in Touch

Speak with Roz our online reputation management expert, in complete confidence.

  • Please supply us with as much information as possible such as search terms used on Google and links to investigate.

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Get in touch

Speak with Simon our online reputation management expert, in complete confidence.

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New York
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