Right to be forgotten refused
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What to do if your right to be forgotten application was refused
Submitting a right to be forgotten application is often the first step in the process of start rebuilding your life. If your right to be forgotten application was refused by Google, do not be disheartened. There are certain steps that you can take to overturn this decision.
There are different reasons why Google may choose to decline your right to be forgotten request. When you embarke on the mission to rebuild your life, you should take into account that matters might take longer than you initially expect. When the right to be forgotten was introduced, may individuals wanted to believe that it would take a short form to complete on Google website to start getting their life back. When the rejections started to come in (in excess of 50%) some of the applications felt disheartened and abandoned the process. The truth is that it is often easier for Google to say no than say yes. Refusing a right to be forgotten request involves little burden on Google. Most people, when faced with a rejection, simply give up, as in many borderline cases,
Google errs on the side of caution by declining the right to be forgotten request and affectively counting on the fact that only a small number of the applications appear the decision to refuse the request or even know how to take matters further. In some cases where the rejection is due to the nature of the criminal offence that a person had committed in the past or due to the nature of other wrongdoing that are attributed to that individual in the online articles they are trying to supress. There are too many deserving cases where it seems that Google has taken a moral view of the issue rather that acted following a strict assessment of the law. In other cases, the application to Google is either badly drafted, incomplete or simply does not refer to the relevant law which the applicant needs to rely on.
In too many cases, a better drafted right to be forgotten request would have achieved a completely different outcome. Confusion between defamation law and data protection law and privacy law are very common mistakes. Other common errors that may result in rejecting your right to be forgotten request are too much reliance on facts and little or no mention of the relevant law.
Google’s request a review of a decision by the ICO in your favour Surprisingly though, the ICO will not automatically notify you of Google’s request for a Review and you shall not expect the ICO to send you a copy of Google’s request for a Review either. It is therefore important that you remain active throughout the process because the ICO might conduct a final review of your case, which could often result in reversing its own original decision in your favour, without you even knowing about it. You should keep yourself up-to-date by contacting the ICO regularly to check on the progress of your complaint.
We have seen cases where the ICO made a final Review resulting in reversing its own decision, simply after it received representations from Google and without giving the individual an opportunity to respond to Google's representations. If this happens, you could find yourself having to either convince the ICO to carry out yet another “final Review” or more likely, having to take the matter to court.
If Google rejects your right to be forgotten request, you may take the matter to court. This, of course could be both risky and expensive, so you would want to avoid this situation happening in the first place. We recommend that you discuss Google refusal of your right to be forgotten application with an experience lawyer. Your first step should be to serve on Google a formal Notice under GDPR. The Notice is a legal document which you would later on be able to rely on in court. The Notice also places Google on a strict timetable of up to 28 days to respond to it.
The GDPR Notice would set out the facts of the case, the history of the complaints to Google and the legal submission as to why Google is acting in breach of GDPR by continuing to process your data as part of the search results. In many cases, Google would reverse its original refusal of your right to be forgotten request after your serve a properly drafted GDPR Notice.
Whether you should seek legal advice following refusal of your right to be forgotten application to Google is would depend on how important it is for you to remove the links to the offending search results from Google. We recommend that you seek legal advice before you complete a right to be forgotten application. Speak to a specialist lawyer who will be able to tell you what works and how to complete Google right to be forgotten applications in a way that will increase the likelihood of success. If your right to be forgotten application to Google is refused, discuss your strategy with the lawyer who will be able to advise you, based on her experience which appeal option is the best for you to choose from.
The question whether to escalate matters with Google or to have the ICO involved as often strategic questions which need to be carefully considered on a base by case basis. Each case is different and because there are likely to be lifetime implications to your right to be forgotten request, it often pays off to take your time and to invest resources in getting the applications right.
Whether you need a solicitor to complete a right to be forgotten application or appeal, would depend on how important this matter is to you. Some people choose to deal with legal matters themselves whilst others prefer to delegate important legal tasks to a specialist. If you decide to seek specialist advice on a right to be forgotten appeal or on the initial application, make sure you ge the right expert. There are many companies out there who purpose to handle those type of matters but who have no real legal knowledge or real legal experience.
If you have been through the legal process several times with Google or with the ICO, you are more likely to know what steps you need to take to either avoid leading your client in this direction, or what information you need to put in the legal documents to support a potential legal claim. In most cases, Google can tell the difference.
It is worth checking with us on the phone whether we are the right law firm to handle your right to be forgotten appeal. We are the first internet lawyers in the UK.
We have been handling removal of information requests from the internet for more than 20 years with great success. Our track record in having links delisted from Google searches goes back to the time far before the right to be forgotten became a legal right. We have lawyers who know their law well and know Google very well. On our team we have lawyers who understand technology and some of them are even website coders who know the internet inside out and who understand how the internet works better than any other lawyers in the country.
We have so far handled thousands of removal applications on behalf of entrepreneurs, lawyers, accountants, premier league footballers, politicians, movie stars, authors, Olympic medallists, teachers and head teachers and many others. Our success rate in obtaining positive outcomes for our clients is above 90%. Call us free now on 0800 612 7211 to speak to our friendly team or send us an email to Helpline(at)CohenDavis.co.uk. We will take care of everything else.