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‘Right to be forgotten’ – One year on

The Telegraph has published an article which looks at the impact of the ‘right to be forgotten’ 12 months on from the original court decision. Interesting extracts can be found below, but the full article is available here.


Since then, Google claims to have processed 253,617 requests to remove 920,258 links, and approved just over 40 per cent of those requests. In the UK alone, the company has received 32,076 requests to remove 126,571 links, and approved 37.5 per cent.


Examples of removal requests include:

  • A man requesting the removal of a link to a news summary of a local magistrate’s decisions that included the man’s guilty verdict. Under the UK Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, his conviction has been spent (approved)


In Britain, 183 people have reportedly complained to the UK’s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), after Google denied their requests to remove links.


The ICO has agreed with Google’s conclusions in around three quarters of these cases, but there are 48 cases where the ICO believes Google “hasn’t got it quite right”.


Google has been asked to review these cases, and in many cases has reversed its decision, according to the ICO. However, the search company faces possible legal action from the ICO if the remaining cases are not resolved.


“We’ll be looking to resolve the remaining cases through discussion and negotiation with Google, though we have enforcement powers available to us if required,” said ICO deputy commissioner and director of data protection, David Smith.


“The European ruling is about providing individuals with a suitable mechanism for getting information which is no longer accurate or relevant to be removed from a search engine’s results page. If there is a clear public interest in the information remaining available then it will stay there as many complainants to our office have discovered.”


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Debbie Sadler
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