WP29 gives more clarity on the right to be forgotten

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27 November, 2014

The Article 29 Working Party (WP29), the European collaboration of data protection authorities, has issued a press release with more explanation on the ‘right to be forgotten’. This is a result of the judgment of the Court of Justice in the case of Mario Costeja González (C-131/12).



  • The judgment confirms the applicability of the Directive 95/46/EC to search engines insofar as the processing of personal data is carried out in the context of the activities of a subsidiary on the territory of a Member State, set up to promote and sell advertising space.
  • The right to be forgotten does only contain the results obtained from searches made on the basis of a person’s name. It does however not contain deletion from the indexes of search engines. The original information should still be accessible using other search terms or by direct access to the source.
  • In order to give full protection of the data subject’s rights search results need to be deleted from both .eu and .com domains. The aim is to give effective and complete protection of the rights of the data subject.
  • The national data protection authorities will focus on claims where there is a clear link between the data subject and the EU. |
    The guidelines contain 13 criteria that data protection authorities will use to handle complaints following refusals of de-listing by search engines. These criteria should be seen as a flexible working tool.
  • Each criterion should be read in the light of the principles established by the Court of Justice and in particular in the light of “the interest of the general public in having access to [the] information”.

Currently, it is not clear when the WP29 will issue the list with the 13 criteria. The ‘right to be forgotten’ could also be important for your organization. Considerati’s privacy professionals could help you sort out if your organization acts in line with the relevant rules and legislation in the field of privacy. More information? Feel free to contact us.

Source: Working Party 29



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