The right to be forgotten

New regulations concerning personal data protection, including rights to be forgotten, may soon come into force.

Currently, on the basis of the verdict of the Luxembourg Court of Justice it is possible to submit applications to Google company about deleting links in the results of their finding. The new European Union regulations are supposed to facilitate the execution of that right.


The user of the Internet should have a right to say: “do not process my data further” – believes Marta Wysokińska, legal adviser in K&L Gates. – However, one of the characteristics of the Internet is the fact that it does not forget. Therefore, it will be a great challenge to regulate personal data in the context of a right to be forgotten, which in turn is one of the basic rights to privacy.


The creation of the right to be forgotten requires the accommodation of several interfering values, such as the right to privacy and free speech. The realization of this requirement in practice is related to big challenges, not only technological ones. Therefore, the Internet does not forget, because the cost of eliminating some contents from the network is not economically justified – says Marta Wysokińska.


The verdict, which was passed by the Luxembourg Court of Justice in May, enables to submit proposals to Google on the removal of all links to texts from the search engine which violate privacy of people concerned. So far, over 130 000 applications have been received. Due to the European Union regulations, Google conducts debates which are supposed to help in developing the balance between the law to be forgotten and the law to information. One of them took place on 30th September in Warsaw.


It is difficult sometimes to enforce the law to privacy in practice – judges Marta Wysokińska.New European Union norms may allow to enforce this law easier. However, from the point of view of entrepreneurs it may entail very increased costs.


In Polish reality, the possibility of enforcing the law to be forgotten may turn out to be a very crucial tool after the introduction of a proposed debt register of the Treasury by the Ministry of Finance. Dr Wojciech Wiewiórkowski, the General Inspector for Personal Data Protection, raised this issue in the interview provided for Dzienników Internautów. In his opinion, the Ministry of Finance disregarded the fact that the information placed in the Internet, which concerned delays in regulating e.g. taxes, may be still public even after paying the required charge by the debtor. In the end, data included in one service may be quick coped or written down and made available on another websites, including social portals.


See more: Idea of MF to levy tax arrears


The problem of the introduction of regulations concerning the law to be forgotten in the Internet is the pace of works in institutions of the European Union. The commissioner Viviane Reding appealed to quicken them in order to be compulsory next year. Meanwhile, in the course of works in the European Parliament there were over 3,5 thousand amendments, and thus – the legislative process will probably undergo the extension.

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