Right to be forgotten

NEGATIVE Search Results? Use your RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN!.

Do you suffer from outdated, irrelevant, inaccurate or harmful messages about you on the Internet?
Then the 'right to be forgotten' might be for you.

European citizens have the right to be forgotten (also known as ‘the right to erasure’) by search engines such as Google, the European Court of Justice ruled in 2014. Through the right to be forgotten, which is laid down in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), MediaMaze can help you  remove unwanted search results when searching for your name. This allows you to efficiently adjust your online image.

We have already made hundreds of requests to Google. With our experience and expertise you can tackle negative search results with a high degree of success.

Legal opinion & Advice

Based on the articles you wish removed and a conversation by telephone, we make a preliminary assessment of the feasability of your case. If we conclude your request has good chance of being granted, we offer you a full legal opinion and chart the possibilities you have for getting the requested results, together with an advice on how to proceed.

This analysis forms the blueprint for the next steps.

SECOND OPINION?

Are you a lawyer currently working on a case for a client, and would you like a second opinion on the feasibility of your case, or for us to go over your case to see how it might be improved? If so, please contact us, we are happy to work with you.

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Search engines (Google, Bing, etc.)

Requests based on the right to be forgotten can be submitted by us, on your behalf, to Google, other search engines, and government agencies that publish your personal information.
Based on our prior analysis we draw up a complete legal request for this, in which we discuss the relevant legal articles, the case law and all relevant circumstances. Subsequently, we balance the public interest with your privacy interests to reach our conclusion that the relevant search results (or publishing of your information, in case of a government agency) should be blocked.
We will then submit this request to Google or other search engines/agencies using our own protocol, so that we are not bound by the restrictions that Google imposes on individual applicants (up to 150 words, no attachments, etc.).

national privacy protection commissions

If your appeal to the right to be forgotten is rejected by the data controller (Google, Bing or a government agency), there is the possibility of filing a complaint with your national privacy protection commission (for example, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the U.K., or the Data Protection Commission (DPC) in Ireland).

The commission will deal with your complaint on the basis of their guidelines. The competency of such a commission differs per country. Some authorities can order Google to block URLs, whilst others can only mediate and thus request Google to block articles.

WHAT ABOUT BREXIT?

Brexit will not have an effect on your right to be forgotten. Until December 31 2020 the current EU GDPR regulations remain in force, from January 1st 2021 the UK GDPR regulations come into force. The text of this regulation is almost unchanged and the right to be forgotten remains a part of the new UK privacy regulations.

OUR Results in 2019

Almost 90% of the requests submitted by MediaMaze in 2019 were granted by Google. This while Google granted only 52% of all requests  in 2019. We achieved this through our thorough analyses beforehand and because, by taking the appropriate next steps after an initial refusal, we managed to get 80% of the turned down requests granted at a later stage.

Your can read our full report via the link below.

 

Your right to be forgotten request via MediaMaze:

Maximum Experience

No firm has as much experience as we have with the 'right to be forgotten'. We can compare your case with similar cases from the past to assess your chances and then determine which argumentation is most likely to bring about success.

We know the way

Because we have already submitted hundereds of requests and initiated and conducted several legal procedures, we know our way around parties such as Google. This enables us to bring your request or summons directly to the attention of the decision-makers.

Verifiable Expertise

MediaMaze regularly appears in the media regarding the right to be forgotten. You can also find the legal proceedings we initiated in the Netherlands on Rechtspraak.nl. We are the experts, and we invite you to verify this by looking at our track-record.

Full Legal Request

We will write a complete legal request on your behalf. This gives you the highest chance of success at first instance. It also means that, with only limited modifications, your request is suitable to send to the national personal data commission in case your request is rejected by the data controller.

Competitive Rates

We offer our legal service at a competitive rates and give you a quote on the estimated time spent on you request, before you commit yourself. This way you will not be confronted with any surprises, while you are assured of the best service. Our hourly rate is €175, ( about £150) excluding. VAT (21%). During a non-binding intake we will inform you about the estimated time spent for the different steps of the procedure.

I want to be forgotten!

Contact us today for a free estimate of the feasibility of your request. On the basis of a quick scan we will give you an explanation of the possibilities for invoking the right to be forgotten, what we can do for you and what associated costs are.

 

Or use the form below

P.S. Yes, we are based in Amsterdam. We speak English and serve clients from many different European countries.

Background to the Right to be Forgotten

The recognition of the right to be forgotten has led to improved data protection and stems from the legal action brought by Spaniard Mario Costeja González against Google in 2010. After a newspaper refused to remove unfavourable reports about the forced sale of his house, he made the same request to Google. This originally American search engine also refused to comply with his wish and continued to link to the more than ten-year-old reports about Costeja. In the process that followed, ambiguities arose about the validity of the right to be forgotten. After intervention of the Spanish Data Protection Agency and the Spanish Supreme Court, the dispute was finally referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union. This brought clarification.

Data Controller

A first question that had to be answered was whether a search engine such as Google could be regarded as a data processor. Indeed, the Spanish data protection authority supported Costeja in its demand to delete the search result, on the basis of EU Directive 95/46/EC, which was already somewhat outdated and applicable to data controllers. Although the Advocate General appointed by the European Union advised that Google should not be considered as such because of the arbitrary and inefficient processing of personal data, the European Supreme Court ruled otherwise. It saw Google as a data processor, by “actively collecting, storing and making available personal data”. The ruling also made it clear that Google’s activities and branches in Europe were bound by the directives applicable there, despite the American basis.

Right to be forgotten in practice

The Advocate General of the European Union also considered whether Directive 95/46/EC means in practice that there is a right to be forgotten. He considered that in general, the right of free access to information and freedom of expression take precedence over the right to be forgotten. The European Supreme Court decided that requests for deletion of search results containing irrelevant, inaccurate and excessive data were well founded. European citizens needed to be protected against the large-scale data processors such as Google.

In doing so, however, the right to privacy on the one hand and freedom of information on the other must be weighed. Both are laid down in the European Convention on Human Rights, but which is more important must be assessed on a situational basis. If the information is not of public interest, then the petitioner’s right to privacy weighs more heavily and the right to be forgotten prevails. If there is a public interest in being aware of the search results shown, the case is more complex. This is, for example, the case when it concerns a public figure or someone in a public function. The right to freedom of information is then more often preferred. This takes into account the importance of the information for the actions of persons both professionally and personally.

Ratification

Enforcement of the right to be forgotten has been facilitated by the inclusion of the so-called ‘right to erasure’ in Article 17 of the GDPR. After all, the EU Directive 95/46/EC dates back to 1995, when Google did not even exist. With this right to erasure, Google can be requested to omit certain URLs from the search results in a search that contains the name of the submitter. However, the decision to remove remains with Google, which always balances the right to privacy and to freedom of information. If the search engine giant rejects the request, mediation by the National Data Protection Authority is a possible next step. If even this does not produce the desired result, there is always the option of going to court. In all these steps our experience ans expertise can significantly increase your chances of success.