The right to erasure, more commonly known as the right to be forgotten, is a section under GDPR that states you have the right to have your data erased, without undue delay, by the data controller (i.e. Google, Facebook, Yahoo etc), if it meets specific criteria.
What Reasons Can I Request My Data to be Removed?
The 7 general guidelines to follow when requesting your data be erased goes as follows:
- Your data is no longer necessary for the reason it was collected or processed in the first place
- You withdraw your consent and there are no other legal reasons to keep processing your data
- You objected to the processing of your data and there are no legal grounds for continuing to process your data
- You objected to the processing of your data and your information is being processed for direct marketing purposes
- Your data was unlawfully collected and processed
- You have a legal obligation to comply with and your data has to be erased
- Where your data has been collected about the offer of information society services to a child
All of these guidelines are self-explanatory apart from the last one. Essentially this means any information given by a child (anyone under the age of at least 13 cannot give consent without parental permission) to gain access to information society services (i.e. Netflix, Facebook, Instagram etc) can be requested to be removed.
What types of Data can I potentially get removed?
- Personally identifiable information
- Contact data
- Financial information
- Social security numbers
- Locations or geolocation data
- Online identifiers such as an IP address
- Racial or ethnic origin
- Biometric data
- Religious beliefs if used against you
- Sexual orientation if used against you
- Criminal Records
Where Can I Request For Data to be Removed?
Google is the most popular search engine and where most of the searches on the internet happen, so if you’re looking to have personal data removed this is the first place to start. Google makes this seemingly complicated and tedious process much easier with its data request removal form. This can still be complicated for someone who isn’t savvy however it is very easy to learn.
How Can I Request Data be Removed?
First of all, you need to select the country you live in (or if you’re doing it on behalf of someone, the country they reside in, but more on that later). Then you need to provide your full legal name and email address so Google can contact you and update you on the progress request. The next part will ask you whom you are acting on behalf of, if it’s yourself, you’ll tick the Myself option, otherwise, you’ll have to select exactly who you’re acting on behalf of, and you will most likely be asked to provide documentation to confirm that you have the authorisation to act on behalf of that person. Next, is the important part. You will be asked to enter every URL containing the data that you would like to be removed. You can enter up to 1000 links (if you have more than 1000 links to submit you can make multiple requests) if you enter each URL in a separate line.
You will have to look for the URLs yourself, as Google does not provide them. You’ll also have to explain each URL you submitted and why you believe the personal information should be removed.
Once you’ve submitted all your URLs and provided explanations, you’ll then be asked to enter the name(s) you used to find the links.
Finally, you’ll be asked to tick 3 boxes.
- The first box asks you that you have read and acknowledge that you understand how Google processes the information you inputted.
- The second box asks you that the information you gave is accurate and up to date and that you are indeed authorised to submit the request.
- The last box tells you that Google will not process your request if you did not fill in the form properly or if that request is incomplete.
Finally, you’ll be asked to give an electronic signature, and then you should be able to submit your request. Google will then email you stating that they have received your request. They will then email you again with updates regarding your case.