Maintaining our privacy on the Internet costs more and more. Although sometimes unconsciously, or without our permission, disseminating personal digital content and data is something that is the order of the day, be it through images, videos, social networks, etc. However, in order to help the user to exercise their right to Suppression or “to be forgotten”, the AEPD (Spanish Agency for Data Protection) offers us all the keys to request the removal of content that we do not want to appear in a website or social network.
As governed by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the data processing carried out by search engines is subject to the data protection regulations of the European Union, for which reason people have the right to request, under certain conditions , the deletion of your personal data by doing an internet search on your own name.
What is the right of erasure or right “to be forgotten”?
It is about the right that we have as citizens before the impediment of the dissemination of personal information through the Internet. And it is that when a data does not comply with the data protection regulations of the European Union, the user has the right to limit the universal and indiscriminate dissemination of personal data in search engines.
Removal may be because the information is out of date, or is no longer relevant or of public interest, even though the original posting is legitimate. Although the ideal is to request the original source to delete our personal information, search engines and social networks include content removal and reporting mechanisms, and in this article we show you the keys on how to request the removal of personal information.
Aspects you should know
The AEPD informs us about a series of requirements and aspects that we must be aware of before exercising our right of deletion:
- The exercise of the right of deletion can only be requested by the affected person or, in the case of minors under 14 years of age, their parents or legal guardians.
- If you have not achieved the removal of the content, you can request the removal from the platform that has provided the means for the publication. This can be the social network or platform itself where the images or videos have been published. To do this, we must prove our identity and indicate which links contain the information to be removed.
- The company must resolve the request for deletion within a maximum period of one month from receipt of the request . After that period has elapsed without having received any response or the response is considered “unsatisfactory”, a claim can be filed with the AEPD, accompanying the request for documentation proving having previously requested the deletion from the platform. To access the AEPD claim form for the deletion of sensitive data, you can do so through this link. For this it is necessary to have an installed electronic certificate or electronic DNI, Pin/Permanent Key.
Removal of digital content on Google, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or Facebook
As we have mentioned, the vast majority of platforms, social networks and services have a section dedicated to the removal of sensitive digital content or content that contains the user’s personal information. These mechanisms are integrated into the platforms themselves, so it is important to know how we can request the removal of content on each of them.
- Google: the company offers its own platform for the removal of personal content and that you can access from this link. To do this, you will have to select the service in which the content is found and follow the steps for its elimination or complaint. Depending on the service, the request will be more or less immediate. For example, if it is a Google search, we can exercise our right of deletion by accessing the request form. However, if we choose a YouTube video, we will have to request its removal through its reporting tool.
- Twitter: this social network has mechanisms for removing sensitive content. The main tool we have in our hands is reporting tweets or users for non-compliance with the data protection law or infringement of the platform’s policy. Through this link you can get all the information.
- Instagram: from this social network we also have various tools to report content published by third parties without our consent that includes personal information. It is also useful when we detect conduct that violates company policy such as abusive conduct, harassment, etc. You can get more information through this link.
- TikTok: the platform has a web page where they offer us information on how to report a comment, direct message, hashtag, account, video, or any other content that violates the policies of the social network.
- Facebook: through the help service of this social network we can find all the information on how to report sensitive content. Facebook offers several options depending on the circumstances of each specific case. All of their posts have a direct link to the reporting process in case we believe they have violated company policies.
Not appearing in search engine results
Individuals have the right to request, subject to conditions, that links to our digital content or personal information not appear in Internet search results when we search by name. In this way, if we do a Google search with our full name and see a link that we do not want to appear, we can request the company to remove it through the platform dedicated to it.
If you want to do it through Bing, you can also access their request form to block search results. It is enough to fill in our data and have the documentation that proves the information that you want to delete.