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Does Your Request Qualify to be "Forgotten"?

Posted on 12.01.2014

As privacy has become a more important topic among Internet users, organizations have taken steps to help reassure Internet users their privacy is being protected.

However, few have done more to protect an individual’s privacy than the European Union (EU).

Following their groundbreaking “right to be forgotten” ruling in May 2014, the EU has published the guidelines that will determine if requests are denied or enforced.

In the 20-page document, the EU details 13 specific set of criteria where people can request to European Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) to have their information “forgotten” by Google and taken out of search results that are based shown on query's of a person’s name. It is important to note that no information is deleted from the search engines database or the original source. Furthermore, the same information that was removed from search results for an individual’s name can still be obtained on the search engine using other search terms or on the publisher’s website.


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An example of one of the criterion’s in the guidelines is “Was the original content published in the context of journalistic purposes?” Under this criterion DPAs examine the whether or not the information was published by a journalist whose job it is to inform the public about ongoing events. Another criterion stating “In what context was the information published?” examines whether or not individuals gave consent for the information to be published to determine whether or not the link will be removed from search results.

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