The judgment of the European Union Court of 13  May 2014, commonly known as “the right to be forgotten”, has marked a before and after in the exercise of the rights of cancellation and opposition of personal data on the Internet.

Prior to it, the exercise of the right to opposition and / or cancellation of data on the Internet, indicated that this right could only be exercised directly against the holder of the website, which contained the data that were to be cancelled.

As a result of the judgment, the concerned individual can directly exercise his/her rights against the search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc.) even though they have their registered office outside the EU territory.

At present there are three possible ways to require, the holders of websites or search engines, the removal and / or cancellation of our personal data:

1.- Require the removal of information to the search engine.- Just address ourselves directly to the search engine that indexes the information we want to delete and request it.

The search engine, once received the request, will disindex the information of the citizen; Provided that such information is not of general interest, since it may evaluate and weigh the exercise of cancellation or opposition; And they will disindex or not the information requested within 10 days.

 2.- Request the removal of information to the source.- The request should be addressed to the source of information (web page, for example) in writing and accompanied by a photocopy of the National Identity Card, and identify clearly the information on which the opposition or cancellation is required.

Once the right to forget was exercised, both, in the case of search engines and sources of information, have 10 days to respond to the request. In case of refusal or failure to reply in time, a claim for protection of rights may be filed with the Spanish Data Protection Agency or just go directly to the courts.

  1. Spanish Agency for Data Protection (Agencia Española de Protección de Datos).- It is the one that is specially designed for the case when our request to exercise the “right to forget” by the previous routes is denied.

Once the complaint has been received, the AEPD will open an investigation file and, if applicable, request from the source the removal of the information and impose an economic penalty on the offender.