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Right To Be Forgotten

In the present age where all data is accessible at a tick it is crucial safeguard one's protection. One method for safeguarding this Right by giving Right to eradication or Right to be forgotten. In Google Spain SL, Google Inc. v Agencia Espa�ola de Protecci�n the European Association held that Google should eliminate the query output that is old, erroneous, or even immaterial information assuming the individual included demands it. Unfortunately, the choice of the court was restricted to geological domains.

The data might have been gotten to past these geological regions. In India, in K.S. Puttuswamy v. Union of India[1], it was held that option to be forgotten is important for right to privacy. In any case, there is no lawful structure to carry out right to be forgotten. In this article I have talked about its significance, beginning and application in India.

The "Right to be forgotten" is a typical name for a right that was first settled in May 2014 in the European Association as the consequence of a decision by the European Courtroom. The Court found that European information security regulation gives people the option to ask web crawlers like Google to delist specific outcomes for questions connected with an individual's name.

In choosing what to delist, web search tools should consider in the event that the data being referred to as "wrong, deficient, unimportant or over the top," and whether there is a public interest in the data staying accessible in query items.

Ongoing Debate On Right To Be Forgotten

For those in favor of right to be forgotten argue:
  • It is necessary due to issues such as private video uploads
  • To ensure reference to petty crimes individual may have committed in the past don't haunt them
  • Potentially undue influence that such results exert upon a person's reputation, if not removed
What those against the right to be forgotten say:
  • Questions of the practical application in attempting to implement such a right.
  • Concerns about its impact on the right to freedom of speech and expression
  • Concerns that it would decrease the quality of the internet through censorship and the rewriting of history.

The Indian Perspective

There is No law in India that specifically provides for the "Right to be forgotten". However, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 recognized this right.

According to Section 20 of the Bill an individual has the right to restrict or right to prevent the disclosure of their personal data when such data-
  • Has no longer necessary for said purpose or served the purpose for which it was collected
  • Was made with the consent of individual, which consent has since been withdrawn.
  • Was made contrary to the Personal Data Protection Bill or any law in force.

This provision is enforceable only on an order passed by the adjudicating officer appointed under the Bill.

What does Judiciary say?
  • In Dharamraj Bhanushankar Dave v. State of Gujarat[2] 2017 case, Gujarat HC rejected demand of removal of a judgment acquitting him in a kidnapping and murder case, passed by the same court. The petitioner had claimed that since the judgment was non-reportable, respondent should be banned from publishing it on the internet because it would jeopardize the petitioner's personal and professional life. The High Court, on the other hand, found that such publication did not violate Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, and that the petitioner had presented no legal basis to prevent the respondents from publishing the judgment.
  • In Subhranshu Rout vs State of Odisha[3] 2020 case, the Orissa High Court examined the right to be forgotten as a remedy for victims of sexually explicit videos/pictures often posted on social media platforms by spurned lovers to intimidate and harass women.
  • In the right to privacy judgment (KS Puttaswamy v Union of India case 2017), the Supreme Court had clarified that the recognition of the right to be forgotten "does not mean that all aspects of earlier existence are to be obliterated, as some may have a social ramification".
  • SC explained: "If we were to recognize a similar right, it would only mean that an individual who is no longer desirous of his personal data to be processed or stored should be able to remove it from the system where the personal data/information is no longer necessary, relevant, or is incorrect and serves no legitimate interest."

Lack of Legal Clarity in India
  • In Sredharan T v. State of Kerala, Court recognised the 'Right to be forgotten' as a part of the Right to privacy. In this case, a writ petition was filed for protection of the Right to privacy under Art.21 of the constitution and petitioner was seeking directions from the court for the removal of the name and personal information of the rape victim from the search engines in order to protect her identity.
  • In "X" v Registrar general 2017 case, Karnataka HC recognized the "right to be forgotten" in sensitive cases involving women in general and highly sensitive cases involving rape or affecting the modesty and reputation of the person concerned.
  • In Subhranshu Rout vs State of Odisha 2020 case, the Orissa High Court examined the right to be forgotten as a remedy for victims of sexually explicit videos/pictures often posted on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram by lovers to intimidate and harass women.
  • In 2021, a Madras High Court Single Judge Bench ruled that the "Right to be forgotten" cannot exist in the administration of justice, or when it comes to judgments of court.
  • In 2021, Kerala High Court allowed deletion of such personal details from a Google search result.
  • Google India, speaking before the Delhi High Court, argued that a blanket order cannot determine the width of the right to be forgotten. It has various shapes, that passing of protective orders would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.

Issue Associated with Right to be forgotten
Privacy vs information
Its balancing with other conflicts rights such as the right to free expression or other publication rights. The apex court must do something here

Enforceability against private individuals
The right to be forgotten will normally be claimed against a private party (a media or news website). Generally, the fundamental rights are available against he states, now these rights can be made available against the citizens as well. How to know that?

Ambiguous judgements:
In recent years, without a data protection law to codify right to be forgotten, there are some inconsistent and peculiar adjudications of the right by various high courts. Certain courts have accepted that there should be right to be forgotten and certain courts have not accepted that.

Government Steps To Protect Privacy

Government have taken certain initiatives in order to preserve right to be forgotten.

Personal data protection bill 2019:
  • It provides for the protection of privacy of individuals relating to their personal data. To establish a data protection authority of India to enforce the same. This was propounded by the port of justice B.N. Shree Krishna committee and it has not yet taken place that means it has just been not alone nformation technology act, 2000
  • It implicitly deals with right to be forgotten it provides for safeguard against certain breaches related to data from computer system and it contains provisions to prevent the unauthorized use of computers, computer system and data stored therein.

Way Forward
We need the parliament as well as supreme court to do something as in first bring out a law with respect to personal data protection. Supreme court should ensure that the two conflicting Articles of the constitution (Article 21 and Article 19) what is the line to be drawn on what, what is the criteria on which one decide that there is the right to be forgotten for this person and not for the other one so a landmark judgement as well as a law would help.

International Experience

  • In 2015, A law enacted in Russia that allows users to force a search engine to remove links which is related to personal information on grounds of irrelevancy, inaccuracy and violation of law.
  • European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): The Article 17 of GDPR Talks about the right to erasure of certain categories of personal data Considered no longer necessary Whose consent has been withdrawn Whose processing has been objected to.
In Article 17, the General data protection Regulation frames the particular conditions under which the option to be neglected applies.

An individual has the privilege to have their own information deleted if:
  1. The individual information is as of now excessive for the reason an association initially gathered or handled it.
  2. Association is depending on a singular's assent as the legal reason for handling the information, and that individual pulls out their assent.
  3. An association is depending on genuine interests as its defense for handling a singular's information, the singular objects to this handling, and there is no abrogating authentic interest for the association to go on with the processing.
  4. An association is handling individual information for direct advertising purposes, and the singular objects to this processing.
  5. An association processed a singular's very own information unlawfully.
  6. An association should delete individual information to follow a legitimate decision or obligation.
  7. An association has processed a child's very own information for their data society services.

Be that as it may, an association's on the whole correct to handle somebody's information could supersede their entitlement to be neglected. Here are the reasons referred to in the General data protection regulation that trump the right to deletion:
  • The information is being utilized to practice the right of opportunity of articulation and data.
  • The information is being utilized to conform to a legitimate decision or commitment.
  • The information is being utilized to play out an undertaking that is being completed in the public interest or while practicing an association's true power.
  • The information being handled is vital for general wellbeing purposes and serves in the public interest.
  • The information being handled is important to perform precaution or word related medication. This possibly applies when the information is being handled by a wellbeing proficient who is dependent upon a lawful commitment of expert mystery.
  • The information addresses significant data that serves the public interest, logical exploration, authentic examination, or measurable purposes and where eradication of the information would liable to debilitate or end progress towards the accomplishment that was the objective of the handling.
  • The information is being utilized for the foundation of a lawful protection or in the activity of other legitimate cases.

    Besides, an association can demand a "sensible expense" or deny a solicitation to delete individual information in the event that the association can legitimize that the solicitation was unwarranted or extreme.

    As may be obvious, there are numerous factors at play and each solicitation should be assessed independently. Add to that the specialized weight of monitoring every one of the spots a singular's very own information is put away or handled and it is not difficult to see the reason why the General data protection Regulation's new protection privileges can be a critical consistence trouble for certain associations.
  • Personal data unlawfully processed Data where there is a legal obligation for erasure the right to be forgotten is also recognized to some extent in some states in USA, Spain, UK etc. (Mainly through various judicial pronouncements).

Why 'Right To Be Forgotten' Should Be Accepted?

There are many reasons and ground for accepting and making law upon Right to be forgotten are discussed as follows:
  • In fact, in a case concerning right to be forgotten that information in the public domain is like toothpaste once it is out it simply cannot get back in.
  • More recently in January 2022 a petition was filed praying the court to direct search engines to block access of a trial code judgement concerning matrimonial disputes as well so all of these cases in different courts have raised the important questions about whether India recognizes the right to be forgotten, therefore the supreme court decision on recent application filed will be quite important is the right to be forgotten an intrinsic part of right to privacy guaranteed under the Indian constitution
  • The Right to be forgotten to be balanced with the right to information of the public and maintenance of transparency in judicial records well while the court judges upon this issue.
Concluding remarks
'Right to be forgotten' is a kind of right that is currently evolving right in the nation. This right very important in present modern era Although this Fundamental Right is overlapping with some of the other fundamental Rights. Everyone has not good time always sometimes some mistakes happen, and a stain emerged on their character however after sometime when the accused acquitted then no one accept him as earlier. so, there should be 'Right to be forgotten' so that in future no one could question upon his dignity.

  • Bhumika Indulia, "The Evolution of Right to be Forgotten in India | SCC Blog" SCC Blog, 2022
  • Right to be forgotten in India,", 2014
  • The Personal Data Protection Bill 2019
Websites: Cases:
  • Shankar Shukla v. Delhi Administration, (MANU/SC/0366/1996)
  • Sredharan T v. State of Kerala (MANU/SC/0084/1980)
  • Dharamraj Bhanushankar Dave v. State of Gujarat (Writ Petition No. 9478 of 2016)
  • Sri Vasunathan v. Registrar General (MANU/GJ/0029/2017)
  • V. vs. High Court of Karnataka, (Writ Petition No.62038 of 2016)
  • Subranshu Raot v. State of Odisha (WP (C)/4159/2020)
  • K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India (CS (OS) 642/2018)
  1. (CS (OS) 642/2018)
  2. (Writ Petition No. 9478 of 2016)
  3. (WP (C)/4159/2020)

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