Overview of the right to be forgotten

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I. What is the right to be forgotten?

The ‘right to be forgotten’ is a commonly used name for a right that was first established in the European Union in May 2014 as a result of a judgment of the European Court of Justice. The Court has ruled that European data protection law gives individuals the right to ask search engines such as Google to remove certain results from search results for queries related to an individual’s name. When determining what to remove from search results, search engines should consider whether the information in question is “incorrect, inaccurate, irrelevant or excessive” and whether it is in the public interest that the information remain available in search results.

In 2018, the EU adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Article 17 of the GDPR establishes a ‘right to erasure’, which is similar to the right recognized by the European Court of Justice under previous legislation and replaced by the GDPR. Some countries outside the European Union have also adopted similar legislation. For example, in July 2015 Russia passed a law that allows citizens to have a link removed from Russian search engines if it “violates Russian law or if the information is incorrect or out of date”[26], and Turkey and Serbia have since version of the right to be forgotten.

II. Who can request to have content removed from search results under data protection laws?

In general, data protection rules only apply to the processing of personal data relating to individuals. Companies and other legal entities usually do not have the right to have content removed from search results for searches based on their company name Diritto all’oblio italia.

Most requests come directly from the person concerned, but it is possible to make a request on behalf of someone else, provided you can confirm that you are legally authorized to do so. Please check local law for more information about your legal rights and eligibility.

III. What to check before submitting a request

If you published the content yourself, you may be able to remove the material from the Internet or prevent it from appearing in search results. Many social networks offer privacy options to protect content you’ve created. In addition, there are ways to remove unauthorized content posted by others.

View a list of commonly used tools

Removing material from the web can be more effective than removing it from Google just for searches using your name.

If you can remove the content from the web, Google’s results will be updated as soon as our search crawlers visit the page again. If the preview (or “snippet”) of Google search results doesn’t show the updated version of the page, you can request a temporary block of the snippet through this tool .

IV. How do I submit a request?

Fill out this web form to submit a request. Be sure to include the following:

  • The specific URL(s) for the content you want removed. Find out how to find the right URL here.
  • A description of how the content relates to you and why we should remove it from Google search results.
  • The search query for which you want to remove the content from the search results, for example your full name. You can also ask us to remove content for another name, such as a nickname. In this case, also indicate how this name is linked to your identity.
  • An email address where you can be reached.

It is always helpful to provide as much background information as we need to effectively evaluate your request by reviewing all available information. Sometimes we need more information to make a decision about your request. If this is the case, we will send you an email and ask for more information. We are waiting for your response before proceeding.


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