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What is the right to be forgotten and how will it affect you?

UK citizens are set to be given more control over their personal information when the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the UK’s new Data Protection Bill come in to force. The new ruling by the European Union’s top court has ruled that on request, Google must delete data held about individuals.

What does this actually mean?

Social media sites will still be able to share personal information about individuals, so long as the information remains solely online.

The ruling means that Google cannot link to personal information about an individual, although they are only compelled to remove the link and not the information from the web itself. The EU Court of Justice said that this “right to be forgotten” is for when personal data “appear to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purpose for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed.”

The ruling is to help ensure that people are not stigmatised for past decisions – be them posts about sensitive topics, or past petty convictions. It’s also hoped that the ruling may be able to help get revenge porn removed from the internet more effectively.

Possible issues with this ruling

Online is often a place where people go to express their opinions, especially those that they wouldn’t necessarily express in real-life, per se. It could be argued that allowing people the right to be forgotten and delete posts helps them cover their true beliefs, especially if those beliefs could be considered derogatory or extreme.

Racist tweets have led to multiple people getting fired from positions in their jobs. While it’s hard to feel sorry for those whose derogatory tweets are recent, there have been cases where people have been fired for misinformed posts made as early teens, who have since matured.

People who once held racist or sexist views can change, as proven by a professional tattoo artist in Baltimore. David Cutlip and his wife and business partner, Beth, have received an “overwhelming” amount of messages from reformed gang members and reformed racists, after they started offering free tattoo cover-ups of racist tattoos. For the pair, this is proof enough that people can change, despite the fact that “there’s a lot of hate out there”.

What do you think?

This is a controversial topic that has caused a lot of debate. What are your views? Let us know on Twitter @Plus24Marketing.