What is the right to be forgot?
The “derecho al olvido” is a generic term for a right introduced in the European Union in May 2014 following a ruling by the European Court of Justice . The court found that European data protection law gives individuals the right to request that certain entries relating to an individual’s name be removed from search results. When deciding what content to remove from search engine results, it is important to consider whether the information in question is factually inaccurate, inappropriate, irrelevant or excessive, and whether there is a public interest in keeping the information in the search results.
In 2018, the EU adopted the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Article 17 of the GDPR enshrines a “right to erasure”, which is similar to the right recognized by the European Court of Justice under the older law replaced by the GDPR. Similar laws have been adopted in some countries outside the European Union. For example, Russia passed a law in July 2015 that allows citizens to remove a link from Russian search engines if it “violates Russian laws or the information within is incorrect or outdated” . Turkey and Serbia also have their own versions of the Implemented Right to be Forgot.
Under applicable data protection laws, who can request removal of content from search results?
Data protection regulations generally only apply to the processing of personal data of natural persons. Businesses and other legal entities generally don’t have permission to have content related to the business name removed from search results.
Most requests come directly from the data subject. However, you can also submit a request on behalf of someone else, provided you can show that you have the legal authority to do so. Check your local law to learn more about your right and to find out if you are entitle to them.
What to check before submitting a request
If you published the content yourself, you may be able to remove it from the web or prevent it from appearing in search results. Many social networks offer privacy controls to protect content you create, as well as ways to remove abusive content from other users.
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Here is a list of some common tools:
If you manage to remove the content from the web, the search result will be update the next time Google crawlers access the page. If the Google search results preview (aka “snippet”) isn’t showing the current version of the page, you can use this tool to request a temporary suspension of the snippet.
How can I make a request?
Fill out this web form to send us a request. Please provide the following information:
- The URL(s) containing the content to remove from search results. Here’s how to find the correct URL.
- An explanation of how the content is related to you and why we should remove that content from Google search results.
- The search query for which you want us to remove the content from the search results, i.e. H. your full name You can also make a request to remove content for another name, such as an alias. If so, let us know how that name relates to your identity.
- An email address where you can be reach.
Provide us with all the necessary background information so that we can examine your request as comprehensively as possible. Sometimes we need more information to make a decision about your request. In this case you will receive a corresponding e-mail. After your reply we will proceed with the processing.
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