Stopping Enforced Disclosure by Google search, with The Right to Erasure (aka Right to be Forgotten)

Stopping Enforced Disclosure by Google search, with The Right To Erasure (aka Right to be Forgotten)

A conference between Phil Martin, (founder of &, Alex Rose, Coaching manager and Louisa Laven, Community Coach, both from; a wonderful charity that helps people to rebuild crime-free and fulfilling lives after prison.

In this 20 minute video, Phil shares how private individuals can apply to search engines to block historic articles under their name, as well as directly to publishers, to request that articles be edited or deleted.

There are a range of reasons why something that appears in search results may qualify for deindexing/blocking from search results, you can read more about these on The Information Commissioner's website

The Internet Never forgets:

When we consider that 11 million (1 in 6) people in the UK live with the label of 'criminal' or 'ex-offender', there are growing calls for greater inclusion for people with criminal records, particularly where someone has made serious progress in living a crime-free life.

Far more important, however, than reforming the framework around criminal records and disclosure, is the archiving, or anonymising, of contemporaneous online reports and commentary, and their easy accessibility via search engines.

Almost all landlords, employers, clients, potential associates, neighbours and social contacts use search engines and social media to research people, this is now as instinctive as any other business process.

Having completed a thousand Personal Disclosure Statements alongside, and on behalf of work-seekers, I can say with certainty that addressing search engine results, historic speculation and untested evidence, has become more important than explaining the offence itself.

The Right to Erasure aka Right to Be Forgotten (Article 17 GDPR) gives the power to request the removal of outdated, inaccurate, excessive and/or irrelevant material, particularly where it is having a detrimental or disproportionate effect on someone's ability to live a normal life.

Unfortunately, this right is sometimes countered with the rote phrase "It is in the public interest". Such responses can be argued however and there is much to be gained by persisting with the search engines themselves and with the Information Commissioner (ICO).

I believe that if we really want people to rebuild their lives and contribute to society, we must address the legislative gaps around the continuous online publishing of criminal records and the associated backgrounds.

We have now entered an era where someone can make a mistake, break the law, be punished, and pay the price that those who are most qualified to decide, the judges, have said they must pay. Despite having served their time, however, they and their family continue to suffer for their crime because the historic concept of 'today's news being tomorrow's chip shop paper' no longer applies and THE INTERNET NEVER FORGETS.

You may ask, “Aren’t you curious, wouldn’t you like to know about someone? Don't we have a right to know?”

When it is essential to know, we have the Disclosure and Barring service (DBS formerly CRB) checks, the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (also known as Clare's Law,,
the Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme (also known as Sarah's Law,,
as well as a growing range of additional court orders and multi-agency monitoring, so public protection needs are always forefront.

When it is not essential, we should not know.

We should not have the opportunity to prejudge someone based on their past.

Whatever happened to someone paying their debt to society?

There must be a timescale by which one-sided media reports are archived and third-party keyboard warriors are silenced so that people can at least have a chance to build a life and contribute to society.

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