How to request the deletion of links to Google

There are circumstances in which it is possible to request a link deletion from Google by exercising the so-called “right to be forgotten”: here’s how.

In an age in which news remains visible and potentially forever available to everyone thanks to the boundless “memory” represented by the internet, there is a right that can be exercised and that allows the protagonists of articles and insights published online to ask for it. removal. It is called the right to be forgotten, and it allows you to request the deletion of a link to Google making sure that it no longer appears in user searches.

The right to be forgotten can be exercised by anyone involved in news events. Name, photos and other details of a personal nature, after a certain period of time from the reported facts and if there are no aftermaths, they can be removed by search engines – Google in the first place – as long as there is no longer any public or current interest in know the story. With the advent of the internet, it is no longer possible to rely only on the passage of time and the disappearance of the front pages of newspapers, because any content remains just a click away and the only way to make it disappear is to proceed with de- indexing.– remove the tags that allow Google and search engines to find the content in question and propose it to users – or completely delete the page in which it is contained. The issue has been dealt with by the Privacy Guarantor , also because today the right to be forgotten remains a particularly delicate and complicated subject in its practical application.

The first thing to establish is when news can no longer be considered of interest or current. The Guarantor has established that in order to have recourse to the right to be forgotten on a piece of news, at least two years must have passed since its publication and the story told must be considered over. An example: if an article from 2018 contains the name and surname of a person involved in a news story that is now “out of stock”; that is, that no longer has any relevance of topicality, the person in question can request the removal of a link. Same thing happens to those who have been criminally convicted and have served their sentence. But how, in practice, to eliminate any personal reference relating to a specific story from Google?

How to delete data from Google

The first step is to make sure that you are indeed in a position to exercise the right to be forgotten. Once this is done, a premise is necessary: ​​the page that contains sensitive data can be de-indexed, or completely deleted. By de- indexed we mean that the page is still online, but is no longer reachable by search engines. Which means that it is in fact not within the reach of anyone except that of the administrators of the site on which it appears. The cancellationit makes the contested page completely disappear from the internet, but the request that a private individual can make to exercise the right to be forgotten is that of de-indexing, which must be addressed to the owner of the domain or, in the case of the media, to the editor of the newspaper. This also happens because the Guarantor has established that news considered old can become topical again, and therefore of public interest, in the event that the person to whom it refers is involved in recent and relevant events, especially if they have criminal and judicial implications.

Furthermore, in the event that the right to be forgotten is exercised, it should be kept in mind that the de-indexing request must also concern the pages that, thanks to the tags, refer to the fact and to the person being talked about without mentioning it directly. In fact, it happens that several insights are published on the same news, and that even if not all of them report the full name and surname of the person, they could still appear in the search results for a series of associated tags.

Remove links from Google

Google for its part has a special page where you can request the removal of personal information on the basis of European privacy laws. At this link you can fill in a form that allows you to request the removal from Google search of specific results relating to search keys that include the name of a person.

The Mountain View giant, however, states that “for this type of request, we balance the rights to privacyof the private sector with the public interest to have access to information, as well as with the right of other people to distribute it. For example, we may refuse to remove certain information relating to financial fraud, professional negligence, criminal convictions or the public conduct of government officials. “Removing a link is at the discretion of Google, which asks the requester to fill in to evaluate the fields relating to personal data, to the link for which removal is requested and the reasons for which it is requested. In parallel, you can also ask the owner or manager of the site to proceed with the cancellation, but as already explained the only what can be expected is de-indexing, which is in fact a kind of cancellation:

Google link removal request, what to do in case of negative result

If the request to Google and to the owner of the page or site is not successful, it is possible to proceed by legal means by submitting an appeal to the Privacy Guarantor or to a judge. The judicial action can also be exercised with an urgent appeal, which guarantees a solution in a few months excluding compensation for damage (which is instead provided for in the event of the victory of a canonical lawsuit brought, for example, for defamation by press).

Leave a Comment