The Right to Be Forgotten in the UK: a fragile balance

Sabine Jacques, Felix Hempel

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This chapter comprehensively illustrates the recent status of the right to be forgotten in the UK and unveils the significance of the changes caused by recent developments. Particularly, the latest reforms in both domestic and international law have had a drastic impact on the application of the right to be forgotten. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) scheduled to have direct effect in all EU member states, the Government introduced the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 in order to retain the regulation post-Brexit. Significantly, the GDPR emphasises the need for a statutory right to be forgotten in Article 17, which goes beyond what was guaranteed under the old legal framework in the UK. In addition, the crucial judgment of NT1 and NT2 v Google LLC handed down by the High Court in 2018 established and clarified under which circumstances a person can successfully ‘erase’ unwanted information from the digital landscape under UK law. It further contains novel and significant conclusions as to how UK courts should balance out the different interests involved in a right to be forgotten case. By drawing upon these developments in both legislation and case law, this chapters provides a unique overview of how the right to be forgotten has been conceptualised over time and what issues have already been raised under the new legal framework. Also, it offers an insight into the rationales underpinning the right to be forgotten from a UK perspective and explores whether further protection would be desirable.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyInternational Academy of Comparative Law
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-33511-3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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