In May 2014,The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that users can request search engine operators to remove search results about them. This represented a major step forward in the protection of personal data: the right to be forgotten.
Since then, Google has received over 700,000 requests to delist more than 2.6 million URLs. The search engine giant has now removed more than half of them from its search results. Google’s Transparency Report has made all the details public – transparency has become a selling point!
In the USA, deletion of data upon request is not possible and is the subject of controversial discussions. The argumentation is as follows: Search results are opinion-forming and covered by freedom of expression. Supporters of the ECJ ruling are against it, arguing that if search engines display personal data to which the users do not consent, there has to be a right to removal.
GDPR has helped supporters of the right to be forgotten come into their own. It is now firmly anchored in the regulation. Freedom of expression must not lead to the uncontrolled publication of personal information on the Internet. Every individual should have the possibility to prevent the dissemination of unwanted, outdated or false personal data.
The most effective way to minimise your data footprint is still to control the consumption of apps and digital services. Admittedly, our dependence on technology is massive and growing – read our blog post to find out how you can curb your technology addiction.