March 9, 2021

Can I delete my trail on the Internet? – The province


It is very likely that if you have arrived here you are worried about the information that is available to you on the Internet, simplytyping your name and surname.

During the last year there have been numerous cases in which we have been aware (in case we were not already) of the importance of our personal data, where we publish them, who manages them, why they are treated or how exposed they are through Internet search engines.

This reflection sometimes leads us to delete information from our email, accounts in networks or mobile applications, but unfortunately we have to point out that it is not easy to eliminate our data completely.Technically almost everything is recoverable, but we can try to minimize our footprint on the Internet.

This has been possible thanks to the recognition of control powers of ourpersonal information, mainly when the information we discover about us can have a significant impact on our privacy.

Control tools

Currently, this power of control is recognized by the 'right to be forgotten' (or right of withdrawal) included in theEuropean Regulation on Data Protection, through which we can prevent the dissemination of personal information through the Internet when its publication meets the requirements of the regulations. In this way, we can restrict the worldwide publication of personal data in search engines such as Google or Yahoo, when the information that appears about us is obsolete or has no relevance or public interest, even if the original publication is legitimate (in the case of newsletters official or information protected by the freedoms of expression or information), according to one's ownSpanish Agency for Data Protection.

What now seems evident, carries with it a history of legal issues that culminated in the well-known judgment of the Court of Justice of theEuropean Unionof May 13, 2014, Case C-131/12,Google Spain, S.L. and Google Inc. vs. Spanish Agency for Data Protection and Mario Costeja González, who came to clarify the European regulations in relation to the activity of search engines on the Internet.

From that moment, the right to be forgotten can be exercised against anyone responsible for the treatment that determines the purposes and means of our personal data,be a natural or legal person, as well as against search engines, provided that the requirements for this are met, taking into account that the information indexed by the search engines that is of interest to the public by its nature or by affecting a public figure, will not be suppressed. from the original source.

Google and the right to forget

In this sense, Google after the aforementioned judgment, made available its own form ofremoval of content on your portalof transparency in which the total number of requests received is shown and the total number of URLs whose withdrawal had been requested since May 29, 2014 as we can see in the following graphs:

To carry out this petition against the search engines as information indexers, they must weigh the rights in conflict. That is, the right to the protection of personal data with the freedoms of expression and information.

Claim to the AEPD

One of the latest resolutions in relation to the search engines and the rights of the interested parties is the claim filed before theSpanish Agency for Data Protection(AEPD) dated March 19, 2018.

In this case, the interested party requested Google Inc. the right to cancel their personal data in several web links related to an order of theconstitutional Court, March 2003, in which the appeal for amparo filed by his representative for an offense against public health was denied. The search engine denied his claim after considering that the information was of public interest when linking to a court order, in whicha writ of amparo is dismissedpublished on the institutional website.

The interested, after receiving the denial of your request by Google, filed a complaint with the Spanish Agency for Data Protection, which estimated the resource based on its resolution that the interested was not a public or political relevance, nor interpreted that will affect third parties. In addition, there was an opinion of the national hearing in which the prescription of the penalty was agreed upon on July 10, 2016, together with the certification of absence of precedents. All this led the Agency to estimate the claim, andthe links object of said claim were deleted.

Search engines are currently an essential pillar in our day to day, with its advantages and disadvantages regarding the privacy of users. Before it was said that today's news will fill tomorrow's garbage bins, but all that changed with the Internet and the search engines.

Therefore, regulations on data protection such as theEuropean Regulation on Data Protectionthey are helping to manage the management of personal data by companies respecting the rights of users and minimizing the overexposure of their data on the Internet.

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