Right to be Forgotten

Three things you need to know about being forgotten online

The right to be forgotten is there, but you can’t just manage to be removed from the search engine. Google can weigh things itself and can therefore quite easily ignore things. Van Lynden: “The counter now stands at more than 32,000 requests from the Netherlands to Google, more than half of which have been rejected.

It is therefore quite difficult to make use of the law as an ‘ignorant private individual’ – Google puts a strict test against it before agree.” To help you navigate through the right to forget, we have listed three things you should know about the help with right to be forgotten.

1. Private > business

“If you ask Google to remove that embarrassing vacation photo from its search results, they’ll agree,” says Van Lynden. Such a photo, which only relates to your private life, is therefore not a problem. Or as one of the presenters of Lang’s de Limn Eni Oystermen wanted to know: that one Lucky TV film in which he was made fun of, can it go away? Yes, eventually it will – because after a few years the relevance will wear off and it will no longer matter to your working life.

It is more difficult to be erased from Google when it comes to things that are private, but also relevant to other people. This was experienced by a KPMG CEO who wanted unwelcome messages about his living situation removed from the web. In that case , the judge found that the businessman’s private situation also affected the “financial morality of the business community.” Van Lynden: “If you are in publications on, for example, NOS.nl that you could say has a warning function, then Google makes it difficult.”

Also read: right to be forgotten gdpr

2. Don’t underestimate the legal side of things

An important argument for making things forgotten is that something is ‘demonstrably wrong’. But you must be able to substantiate the feeling that this is the case. “So make sure, where possible, that you arrive with legal documents from the judiciary or a bailiff. If it is only a document from a government, then they will start to doubt Google.”

You also have to demonstrate that the relevance is gone. “Too old is not a good argument, for example. You really have to come up with solid legal arguments and for that you have to be well read.” If you are unable to demonstrate this to Google, you must proceed to the Dutch Data Protection Authority, where the threshold is also high. In short: in difficult cases, support in that area is not an unnecessary luxury.

3. Realize that the effect is limited and (sometimes) not permanent

Being forgotten online doesn’t mean it’s off the internet. Google is only obliged to remove you from the search results and has no further influence on what is on the web. In addition, you can only block specific pages, a limitation that has a major impact on the effect of the right to forget. Van Lynden: “In the case of revenge porn, you can block the page on which the video is located, but not the domain on which it is located. This means that videos that link to the original image are also blocked one by one. and then you can keep busy.”

Also read: Right to be Forgotten Meaning