There are various valid reasons for a right to be forgotten request. The reasons for a valid right to be forgotten request may include the following: data which is out of date, data which is excessive, data which is wrong or misleading and data which is private. The reasons, or grounds, for submitting a right to be forgotten request are set out in a number of sources and you will need to reference them when submitting your right to be forgotten request.
All the reasons for the right to be forgotten request are founded upon your objection to the processing of your data by the search engine provider. You will have good reasons for a right to be forgotten application if you can show some or all of the following:
That the information about you is processed unlawfully, unfairly and not in a transparent manner. That it is not collected and processed for a specified, explicit and legitimate purpose. That the data, or at least some of the data is inadequate, irrelevant and goes beyond what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is being processed and that the data or at least some of it, is inaccurate or out of date.
Each of the reasons for a right to be forgotten is important to understand, appreciate the importance of and demonstrate in your right to be forgotten application. Obviously, it is impossible to cover all of the different grounds in an online submission to the search engine, where you are only allowed to use a limited number of words in your submission. This is why a disproportionate number of a right to be forgotten requests are being turned down by the search engines.
Out of date data may include spent previous convictions, a court case that happened a long time ago, a reference to bankruptcy that has expired, a reference to disciplinary proceedings which happened a long time ago or to a disciplinary sanction that has been already complied with. Out of date data in a right to be forgotten submission may also include information about an event which you participated in a long time ago or about personal, religious or political beliefs that you used to hold but which you no longer accept as your own.
Data which is excessive could be data which repeats itself numerous times or data that is being repeated in Google search results. It may include vast amounts of information about an event which portrays you in a bad light to to the excessive nature of the publication. Examples might include a repetition on various websites of the same story with each website making a separate appearance on Google searches. Another example might be a minor incident, perhaps a petty theft or a loss of temper that is being exaggerated through an large volume of search results in return for your name. Data which is excessive is likely to give a bad impression of you to internet users without due justification, either because of the large number of articles that appear on Google searches or because that there is no other information available about you on Google searches which means Google is only showing articles relevant to one specific, and often negative event.
Data which is wrong, will typically include mistakes as to facts or statements of opinion that cannot possibly be justified. It may also include wrong facts about you, about where you live, where you work or about your beliefs. Data which is wrong and which might give rise to a successful right to be forgotten request may include associating you with certain people you don't know, attributing you to words or facts that are not yours, referring to criminal convictions or to legal proceedings which you had not been involved in. Data which is wrong could also be positive, for example, if someone attributes you to university degrees or titles that you have not earned or if they claim that you had been part of an event or an incident which might be positive but which is falsely attributed to you.
Data which is misleading, in the context of a right to be forgotten request, may include an interpretation of facts in a way that does not do you justice, collecting information and other data about you which might be correct factually but which when put together creates a misleading reality. It might be information that has been taken out of context either deliberately or by mistake. Examples of data which is misleading might be taking selective parts of a speech or of articles about you, to create a negative picture of you, presenting you as a main defendant in a court case where you only played a minor role. It could be giving commentary on an event that took place during legal proceedings, which makes you look bad but without making it clear that you had been found not guilty at the end, associating you with someone who you barely know as if you were partners or business associates and more.
Data which is private in connection with a right to be forgotten request might be internet articles that include information about your private life, the private life of your family or about your religious beliefs or sexual preferences. Data which is private might also include news articles about spent criminal convictions, about your personal or romantic relationships or about your access to certain websites. Valid reasons for a right to be forgotten would be conversations that you held in circumstances where you had a reasonable right to privacy. For example, circumstances where you spoke to someone on the phone or in person or via social media in a private manner, or told someone a secret which might not be pleasant but which was told, without expecting it to be made public.
The right to be forgotten application, which you would normally submit to Google online, is designed to help individuals to bypass the need to file a complicated legal document. A GDPR Notice is a serious document and in many cases, you will need to obtain legal advice to make sure it is drafted effectively.
It's time to do something about it. If you need help in removing material from the internet, give us a call 0207 183 4123. We are the only law firm that specialises in this area of law. We have a lot of experience in this area and we promise that our friendly lawyers will put you at ease and help you in reclaiming your life. There is a high likelihood that we will be able to help you remove unwanted content from the internet, including articles, videos and social media posts.