Finding out about your data

You have the right to inquire of any organisation what personal data it holds on you and how it is used by making a Subject Access Request free of charge.

You may have the right to have the data erased, corrected or prohibited from certain use such as sharing. There have been several high profile cases in the media since the new data protection laws were implemented about ‘The right to be forgotten’. Since 2014 individuals have been able to request links which they claim are inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive to be removed from search engine results.

In the case NT1 and NT2 v Google LLC (2018), the court considered whether Google should be required to remove links to articles about the spent convictions of two businessmen. In the case of businessman 1 (NT1) the court ruled that Google was not required to remove the link to the spent conviction for several reasons; NT1 had been convicted for serious dishonesty; he had shown no remorse; he had published misleading social media postings about his integrity; and the people with whom he did business had a legitimate interest in knowing about his previous convictions.

In contrast, Google were required to remove the link to businessman 2 (NT2)’s spent convictions because; he had pleaded guilty to his crime (which was not an offence of dishonesty); he had shown remorse; he was now practicing in a new area of business which was not relevant to his conviction; and he provided credible detail about the prejudice the link caused to his business reputation.

Contact our team to find out how you can find out about your personal data is being held by an organisation.

How to enforce your right to be forgotten

In today’s digital age, it is possible that there are references to you on the internet that are negative and that you would like to have removed. It may be possible to do this. The right to be forgotten falls under Article 17 of the GDPR and is a way of removing access to negative material on the internet through search engines. You can make a submission to Google and other search engines giving the reasons why the data should be erased on named website URLs.

Most search engines provide an online step by step form for you to complete. Many small search engines are owned by the main ones (Google, Bing. Yahoo) together with social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Here is a helpful guide to help you enforce the right to be forgotten:,news-18871.html

Further help is found on the ICO website.

Obviously you should tailor the reasons to your own case. Common reasons for the right to be forgotten include the fact that the publication is old, disproportionate and has no ‘public interest’ value. But it is a source of continuing distress to you and an invasion of your privacy!

If Google or other search engines refuse, you can refer the matter to the ICO. They will make a recommendation and, if you are successful, provide a directive to the search engine to comply with your request

Any refusal can be challenged legally and this may, depending on the facts, give rise to CFA legal representation.  However, the initial submission and ICO complaint would not be covered by free legal representation, so that if you would prefer to have legal representation to make the application, it would necessarily incur reasonable fees. Get in touch with our team to find out more about enforcing you right to be forgotten.