The right to be forgotten is the right of a data subject to demand that search engines remove links to web pages which contain information about them. The right exists in order to protect the privacy and reputation of individuals.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in May 2014 that, under certain conditions, search engines are responsible for personal data they make available on the internet, and must respect requests from individuals to remove such information. The ruling affects search engines operated by private companies such as Google and Yahoo! but not those run by government agencies or non-profit organizations.
Who can apply for a Right to Be Forgotten?
Anyone who has been identified in a news article or other content online may make a request for that content to be removed from search engine results. This includes people who have been convicted of crimes but who have served their time, as well as victims of crime or accidents who wish to have material about themselves removed from internet searches.
It also applies in cases where there may be malicious content about someone targeting them for abuse or harassment online: for example, if someone had posted defamatory articles about you on their website without any sources or facts behind it then you could request those articles be taken down from their site.