According to etaizhou, the Google deletion request is a form to request the removal of unwanted content from the SERPs at the search engine. This option has existed since May 2014. The measure visualizes the adaptation of data protection to modern circumstances. The corresponding judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) refers to the so-called “right to be forgotten”. A deletion takes place if there is a violation of the applicant’s personal rights.
Why is there an option to have Google delete content from the SERPs?
The “right to be forgotten” makes it possible for people to decide for themselves about the accessibility of personal data to the public. The user submits a request to delete content from Google if it violates his or her personal rights. Responsible for this is a ruling by the European Court of Justice on May 13, 2014. The legal reforms stem from a lawsuit by the Spanish data protection authority. After this clear case law, Google was forced to react. The corresponding form enables people to take responsibility against untrue statements of fact and expressions of opinion and to request the deletion of their data.
Protection against statements that violate personal rights: An explicit regulation of the right to remove name-based statements has also been made in Article 17 of the GDPR since 2018. The right to erasure expressly describes when an operator needs to block the visibility of personal data. The Google deletion request envisions a measure to meet the current data protection guidelines.
A right that applies online and offline: In the wake of the digital revolution, protection of personality is no longer only relevant in traditional media. The endless expanses of the Internet also create a public in which assertions of fact and expressions of opinion are made. Data protection is therefore of fundamental importance here as well. Unfavorable or inaccurate information associated with a person’s name in the SERPs is harmful. The Google deletion request is therefore to be understood as an update of data protection law.
Does the Google deletion request mean the system for reporting websites?
The Google deletion request is not the system that can be accessed via the Google Search Console . This is where people report websites that contain spam or malware. This tool allows you to request the deletion of an entire page from the search engine’s index. The deletion request from Google aims to remove specific search results from the SERPs that violate personal rights.
Who can request the deletion of content from Google?
In principle, private individuals have the right to invoke data protection law. You can apply for deletion. In the context of corporate personality law, companies also have the option of having harmful contributions removed.
Which entries can be deleted as a result of the ECJ ruling?
Deletion from Google includes content that is clearly associated with a person. Your name is linked to the information. According to the European Court of Justice, there must be a violation of personal rights so that the search engine can remove it. Art. 17 of the GDPR names explicit reasons for which the search engine operator has to delete personal information. This is the case if, for example, one of the following factors applies to the data:
- The purposes of the data publication are no longer fulfilled
- There is unlawful processing
- The data subject revokes their consent to the processing of personal data and there is no other legal basis.
Google is committed to removing content that harms someone’s personality
With the form, users have it in their own hands to have Google remove information related to their name from the search results. It is not just false statements of fact that can be deleted.
Expressions of opinion that violate personal rights and false statements of fact are among the content that the search engine must remove from the SERPs. The right to erasure also applies to data that is true, but out of date and in which there is no longer an overriding public interest.
The Google deletion request also refers to terms from the “Autocomplete function” from Google. The blocking of URLs, the name-based entry of which leads to unpleasant results in the SERPs of the search engine, protects the personality of the person concerned.
How is the Google deletion request submitted online?
The removal of personal data from Google search results can be obtained via the deletion request, which is available online. The person concerned or an authorized representative fills out the application.
This information belongs in the form:
- The applicant provides their name and proof of identity
- For the deletion request to be complete, it is essential to state the explicit URLs that are to be removed
- Google requires an opinion-based presentation, which means a reason why the removal of the results is necessary from the point of view of the person concerned
- A valid email address and affidavit by the applicant are also part of the application
- The request for deletion must be signed with a digital signature.
When is a Google deletion request successful?
Google’s lawyers decide individually about the approval of a deletion request. They evaluate the respective case and work closely with the national data protection authorities. The request for the deletion of content in the SERPs will only be granted if a violation of personal rights can be proven.
Two factors influence Google’s decision:
The general public’s interest in information
The time factor
A true factual assertion can be removed by the Google deletion request if certain characteristics are present. This is the case if the data no longer serves the general public’s interest in information at the time the application is submitted.
Deletion requests that relate to older content or articles have a greater chance of being deleted. Approval is more difficult for applications that make more recent results the subject of the deletion claim.
The originally lawful processing of personal information may become unlawful over time. In this case, the data will no longer serve the purposes for which they were actually processed. Therefore, deletion is possible.
It is therefore relevant how long ago the relevant event was in the past. However, there is no specific year as a reference in this sense. The lawyers weigh up the individual case individually.
If the person concerned has a role in public life, the situation is different. Here again, access to this information may be necessary.
There is a right to erasure if the data is out of date. The topicality of the information to be deleted plays a relevant role in the decision for or against removal from the index.
The relevance is crucial for an application to be successful. If the data is several years old and the person concerned is not a sensitive public figure, a deletion request from Google is possible.
What happens if the deletion request on Google is successful?
If the request to remove content from the search results is approved, the disputed URLs may no longer appear online after deletion. This contains:
- The listing of the post in the search results
- Possible links from search engine operators that refer to the URL.
Google’s algorithms need a certain amount of time to ” crawl ” these changes.
Does the request for deletion affect Google image search?
The accessibility of images is subject to special legal regulations. Depending on the individual case, the responsibility is borne by the Art Copyright Act (KUG) or the GDPR. If a person feels that their privacy rights have been violated by images, they can ask Google to remove this content. Explicit reasons must be given.