The Right to be Forgotten: Google and the Law

Do you have the right to be digitally forgotten?

Yes! According to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), all individuals have the right to have their personal data erased. This means that if you no longer want your information to be publicly available online, you can request that it be removed from websites and search engines.

The Right to be Forgotten: Google and the Law

As the internet becomes more and more a part of our everyday lives, it is inevitable that people will want to have their information taken down from sites such as Google. In response to this need, the law has been altered in order to give citizens of European countries “the right to be forgotten.” This blog post will explore what this means for google and other search engines and how they must comply with these changes.

Do you have the right to be digitally forgotten?

Yes! According to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), all individuals have the right to have their personal data erased. This means that if you no longer want your information to be publicly available online, you can request that it be removed from websites and search engines.

There are a few stipulations, however. The GDPR only applies to data that is:

  • No longer necessary for the purposes for which it was originally collected or processed
  • Subject to inaccurate, irrelevant, or excessive processing
  • Processed in a way that infringes on your rights and freedoms

If you meet any of these criteria, you can make a request to have your information deleted.

Do you want to be forgotten by search engines?

There are many who do. But is it possible for these companies like Google and Bing to forget about your past without compromising the rights of others? These questions have been asked time and again as people attempt to use their new “right” in order to get things removed from searches that they feel are no longer relevant to their current lives.

The right to be forgotten is not a new idea, but it has become more popular in recent years as the internet and social media have taken over our daily lives. The law surrounding this right, which was established by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), states that people who are living in a European Union (EU) country have the right to ask search engines like Google and Bing to remove certain information about them from their results. This law was created in response to the increasing number of people who were using the internet to find out personal information about others, whether it be for good or bad reasons.

There are a few stipulations to this law. Perhaps the biggest one is that search engines are not obligated to remove information from their searches; they have been given the choice. This means that if a person has done nothing wrong by searching for facts about another individual, and then asking them to be removed, it may seem unfair or even illegal for those results to be taken down.

Another stipulation is that the information in question must be outdated or irrelevant to today’s society, and not something that would have an impact on a person now. The third condition states that if there are multiple results concerning one individual, they can only ask for certain ones to be taken down; it does not give them the right to choose which results are displayed.

The final condition that people need to be aware of is the fact that search engines can charge for their services if they feel a person has abused this law, or simply refuses to pay up after being asked several times. Even though it was never believed possible before now, the right to be forgotten could actually become quite expensive in the future.

The biggest concern regarding this law is that it could potentially be abused by individuals who want to hide the truth about themselves, or certain crimes they may have committed. In order to prevent these types of issues from occurring, search engines like Google and Bing will not remove all results containing a person’s name; only specific ones that are requested will be taken down. So, if someone wants to find out more information about you (or any other person), they can simply search for your name in a different way and the results will come up.

The right to be forgotten is a new law that is still being tested and has yet to be fully understood. There are many pros and cons to it, but the fact remains that it exists and people are using it more and more every day. Whether you think this law is good or bad, one thing is for sure: it is definitely going to change the way we use search engines in the years to come.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The law in question is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which went into effect on May 25, 2018. This regulation gives individuals the right to have their data erased from search engine results if they feel that it is no longer relevant or if they do not want it to be shared publicly. The regulation applies to any company that processes or intends to process the data of individuals in the European Union, regardless of whether or not the company is based inside or outside of the EU.

Google and other search engines have been working hard to comply with GDPR, but it has not been easy. For example, Google has had to develop a new way to handle individual requests for data removal. Under the old system, requests were handled on a case-by-case basis. However, under GDPR, all requests must be made through an online form and must include specific information about the individual’s right to be forgotten. In addition, Google has had to create a new team of employees who will review and process these requests.

This new team of employees is part of a larger company effort to comply with GDPR. In preparation for the law’s implementation, Google has created extensive documentation—including an FAQ page and numerous blog posts —that explain how it will handle data protection requests from individuals. If you are interested in learning more about how this regulation affects companies that process personal data, visit the European Data Protection Board website.

Why is the right to be forgotten important?

So, why does the right to be forgotten matter? Because it gives individuals a greater ability to control their personal data and restricts what companies are allowed to do with that information. For example:

If an individual no longer wants certain online retailers or services (like Google) to retain any of his/her personal information, he/she can request that this data be removed. Companies are now legally required to delete all traces of a person’s private life from the web if requested by that person and must not store, use, or share that information in any way.

This law also protects individuals from having their personal data be used for nefarious purposes such as identity theft, fraud, or spamming. By erasing a person’s name from search engine results, it becomes much more difficult (if not impossible) for someone to steal his/her identity or engage in other malicious activities.

Drawbacks of the Right to be Forgotten

There are many benefits to the right to be forgotten, but there are also some drawbacks. For example:

The law could have a negative impact on freedom of expression and access to information . For example, if an individual wants to find out more about someone who has requested that their data be removed from search engine results, he/she will not be able to find relevant information about that person.

This law could make it more difficult for journalists and other investigative professionals to do their jobs . For example, if a journalist wants to write an article exposing corruption at his/her local council, he/she may run into problems when trying to obtain public records from the city because those records may no longer be available online.

This law could punish companies that helped create the internet as we know it today . For example, search engines who developed their businesses around indexing and displaying information may suffer financially if they are unable to provide this service under this new regulation.

As you can see, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the right to be forgotten and the effects it will have on individuals, businesses, and governments. This is an extremely complex law with a lot of implications; therefore, its overall impact cannot be fully understood or predicted at this point in time.

How does GDPR help protect personal privacy?

The right to be forgotten helps protect personal data from being collected, used, and shared without a person’s consent. Additionally, GDPR requires companies to get explicit consent from individuals before collecting, using, or sharing their personal data. This helps ensure that people are aware of how their data is being used and can make more informed decisions about whether or not they want to share it.

GDPR also gives individuals a greater ability to control their personal information. If an individual no longer wants certain companies (like Google) to retain his/her data, he/she can request that this data be removed from the company’s servers and all traces of it deleted. Companies are now legally required to delete any private information if requested by a person; however, they must not store, use or share this information in any way.

So what happens if companies don’t comply with the GDPR?

If a company is found to be violating the GDPR by continuing to collect and/or retain personal data without consent, that company must pay a fine of up to 20 million euros (about $25 million) or four percent of its annual global revenue, whichever is higher.

This new law gives people more control over their personal data and helps to protect them from identity theft or other malicious activities; however it also poses some risks for businesses that collect and/or retain this information. In the next section we’ll discuss why business owners should be concerned about GDPR compliance .

What should business owners do to prepare for GDPR?

There are a few things business owners can do to prepare for GDPR compliance:

First, they should familiarize themselves with the regulation and understand how it will affect their company. They should also create a plan for how they will collect, use, and share personal data in compliance with the law.

Second, business owners should educate employees about the law and make sure that everyone understands how to follow it. They should also provide training for their employees regarding its implications on personal data protection. It is important for all of the company’s staff members to be fully aware that they are responsible for protecting their customers’ personal information from unauthorized access or disclosure.

Third, business owners should update their privacy policies and terms of service to reflect the new GDPR requirements. They should also make sure that these documents are easy to understand and accessible on their website.

Fourth, business owners should audit their data collection processes to ensure that they are in compliance with GDPR regulations. Finally, they should create a plan for dealing with data requests from individuals (including the removal of data) and ensure that their systems are capable of handling these requests.

These are just a few steps that business owners can take to prepare for GDPR compliance. For more information, please visit the European Union’s website:


As you can see, there is a lot to consider and analyze when dealing with such a complex issue. This is why it’s important to take time to learn more about the right to be forgotten, as well as how GDPR compliance affects businesses like Google who are responsible for storing vast amounts of personal information on individuals around the world.






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