How to ask Google and Bing to erase your personal data

The right to be forgotten allows you to ask search engines to remove results that include your name or data. We explain how to request it and in which cases you can do it.

The right to be forgotten gives you the power to request organizations in general to remove your personal data from their records. One of the ways to exercise this is to ask Internet search engines, such as Google or Bing, to remove certain results of queries that are related to your name.

It was first established in Europe in May 2014, thanks to a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Between 2015 and 2021, Google and Bing – the two search engines with the most users – received 1,066,274 requests in this regard from European countries, according to a study published by Surfshark . The majority (95.8%) of the requests were made with Google.

The right to be forgotten is related to the rights to privacy and honor. Search engines, when deciding which results to remove, must verify whether the information in question is “inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive”.

This concept, however, may conflict with freedom of expression or information. For this reason, these companies must also take into account whether there is a public interest in the fact that said information continues to appear in the results. Example: if you are a public official investigated for corruption.

How to exercise before Google your right to be forgotten?

With each request on the right to be forgotten before Google, an average of four URLs are requested to be blocked , details the company’s transparency report . It reports that, since its registration began in 2014, it has proceeded to remove almost half (49.3%) of these URLs .

In addition to the fact that some could be considered of public interest, the technology firm explains that it also decided not to remove some pages for material reasons , such as the existence of alternative solutions, technical reasons or duplicate URLs.

You must complete this form to make a right to be forgotten request to Google. Keep in mind that you must provide the following information:

  • The specific URLswhere the content you want removed is.
  • A description of the relationship you havewith said information. You must include the reasons why you think it should be removed.
  • The search query you want removed. In this case, your first and last name. You can include nicknamesthat are related to you.
  • An emailaddress .

It is key that you offer as much context information as possible. If any additional information is needed, the team in charge will contact you.

Requests made from Spain

In Spain, 120,840 claims have been made to Google (between 2014 and until March 4, 2023) regarding the right to be forgotten. In total, 408,161 URLs have been requested to be removed. 25% belonged to news sites. In order of relevance, they are followed by social networks (11.9%), directories (10.5%) and government portals (9.8%). The rest could not be classified.

Google cites an example where the Spanish data protection authority ordered the removal of 15 URLs. They contained information about the arrest of a person in Bali for possession of cocaine. According to the applicants, the information was not accurate, because it mentioned a false association with an “organized group dedicated to drug trafficking”. In the Indonesian criminal record of the affected person, only the possession of narcotics for personal consumption was reflected. In the end, the search engine removed all 15 URLs.

Requests made from Spain between 2014 and March 4, 2023.

The Surfshark study highlights that Spain is the fourth country in Europe that has made the most requests to Google and Bing. France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in this order, are in the first three places.

How to make a request in the other search engines?

Even if the request to Google proceeds, your information may continue to appear in queries through other search engines. Microsoft has provided a similar form for European residents to manage Bing-related right to be forgotten requests.

Here is how you should proceed with other search engines:

  • In the case of Yahooyou must also complete a form . This is for European residents only.
  • For DuckDuckGo, you will need to send an email to [email protected] .
  • Brave Searchchannels the complaint through [email protected] or an EU designated representative at [email protected].
  • com, according to its FAQ page, receives these requests through its customer service form .


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