Right to be Forgotten – Will it Work for you?

Can it apply to you?

Right to be Forgotten – Will it Work for you?

Following a European ruling in May 2014, Google have enabled a process for individuals to request removal of links surfaced in search results pointing to negative content about them. Negative content could be that which is hindering your job opportunities or is simply something you’d rather not be known.

It won’t happen just because you say so

Making a request however, doesn’t automatically mean that Google will carry it out. Removal of search results and the so called Right to be Forgotten can only be achieved if such results constitute a breach of your Data Protection rights – more specifically, if the search results point to data that is “inadequate, irrelevant or excessive”. Even if you consider it to be so, the Data Controller (Google) may not. They will make a judgement about your rights, as the data subject, against the public interest of searches for your name. If there is insufficient public interest in the content, then potentially the information results of the search could be removed. Essentially, information would only be removed if the impact on the individual’s privacy is greater than the public’s right to find it.

There’s no changing order adipex weight loss pills history though and public interest, according to Google, can extend to information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions or public conduct of government officials. If you are a public figure, then the chances of the removal will likely be significantly diminished.

Its not foolproof

This requirement to process Right to be Forgotten requests also applies to other search engines and likely only for search results presented to those searching from the EU. You should also bear in mind that even if you are successful, the filtering out of the links by search engines is not the same as removal of the actual content on the offending website. That will still exist and you will need to also approach those individual websites to request the content be taken down.

The Google Right to be Forgotten form is here.

A number of websites are now advertising their services to assist you in clearing your online history following this ruling. Relevant web searches will reveal their names. I would, however, tread with caution. I wouldn’t suggest that there is any certainty that they would have any better succeess than you.

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