Right To Be Forgotten


In the digital age, personal data has become the currency of the internet, enabling companies to deliver personalized services and targeted advertisements. However, this rampant data collection has raised concerns about privacy and the potential for misuse. One important concept in this context is the “right to be forgotten,” which allows individuals to request the removal of their personal information from online platforms. The right emerges from the right to privacy. It denotes that any individual has the right to remove personal information from the search engine whenever they want to. Right to be Forgotten can be termed as the subset of the Right to privacy which is a basic right provided to the citizens under Art 21 of the Indian Constitution.


The very first case that involved the use of the right to be forgotten was Mario Costeja Gonzalez vs. Google Spain where the court favoured Mr Mario and requested Google to delete deficient, unimportant, or presently not significant information from its query items in response to a public request. the residents of the European Union reserve the option to get their data taken out from commercial search firms assuming that data is as of now not important. The right to privacy was clutched on a higher platform than the search engine’s model for benefit. Consequently, the European Court held that the right to privacy offset economic interests and the right of the public to information. The right to be forgotten, also known as the right to erasure, originated in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in 2018. Under this regulation, individuals have the right to request the erasure of their personal data from online platforms and search engine results, under specific circumstances. The aim is to grant individuals greater control over their personal information and to protect their privacy in the digital landscape.

The right to be forgotten shows up in recitals 65 and 66 and in Article 17 of the GDPR. It expresses, “The information subject will reserve the privilege to get from the controller the deletion of individual information concerning the person in question immediately and the controller will have the commitment to eradicate personal information immediately” in the event that one of various circumstances applies. “Undue delay” is viewed as about a month.


Supreme Court in the judgement K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India declared that the Right to privacy is a fundamental right which is guaranteed under Art 21 of the Indian ConstitutionIn May 2018, Justice B.N. Srikrishna Council presented a Data Protection bill. The proposed bill dives into the idea of a new right, the ‘Right to be Forgotten,’ which intends to safeguard individual information. In any case, Ravi Shankar Prasad,  Minister of Electronics, and Information Technology, submitted The Personal Data Protection Bill  to the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019

Section 43A of the Information Technology Act of 2000 states that businesses that acquire or hold sensitive information and are negligent in handling the sensitive information which could lead to the loss of any individual or wrongful gain may receive compensation if that individual was harmed in the process, although Right to be Forgotten is not explicitly mentioned but if any such unlawful loss such as exposing personal information without their consent takes place then the individual can file a complaint with the grievance officer.

In the case of Dharamraj Bhanushankar Dave v. State of Gujarat & Ors (2015), the issue of the Right to be forgotten was first raised. In this case, the petitioner had been blamed for criminal conspiracy, murder, and kidnapping and was acquitted by the Court; accordingly, he requested that the respondent be banned from publishing the non-reportable judgment on the web, as it very well may be harming the applicant’s personal and professional life as it was prompting slander In any case, the court didn’t perceive the presence of the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in India.

In the recent  Delhi HC case of Jorawer Singh Mundy v Union of India, the Single Judge bench comprising Justice Pratibha M. Singh held that from one perspective, there is the petitioner’s right to privacy and, then again, the public’s right to information and the conservation of transparency in legal records. Notwithstanding, the court focused on the petitioner’s right to privacy, deciding that it had been abused and ordering the respondents to erase admittance to the judgment from their websites. While the right to be forgotten is hailed as a crucial step towards protecting privacy, it also poses challenges regarding freedom of information. Critics argue that the right to be forgotten could lead to censorship and the rewriting of history. They fear that powerful individuals or entities may use this right to suppress legitimate information that is in the public interest. Finding the right balance between privacy and freedom of information is a delicate task. On one hand, personal data should not be used against individuals indefinitely, especially if it no longer serves any legitimate purpose. On the other hand, we must preserve access to information that is relevant to the public good or historical accuracy.


The right to be forgotten is a complex and multifaceted concept that seeks to strike a balance between individual privacy and freedom of information. In an era dominated by vast data collection and digital footprints, it is essential to protect individuals’ right to control their personal information. However, it is equally important to safeguard access to information that serves the public interest and preserves historical accuracy. Achieving this delicate equilibrium requires continuous dialogue, awareness, and cooperation between individuals, governments, and online platforms. As technology continues to evolve, so too must our understanding and approach to the right to be forgotten. Only then we can build a digital landscape that respects both personal privacy and the free flow of information In India There is no proper regulation in India yet that examines the requirement for the Right to be Forgotten. Be that as it may, the legal point of reference leads towards an acknowledgement of the right. The Government has additionally tabled the Personal Data Protection Bill. The Bill endeavours to give citizens more independence over their information and encapsulates the hypothesis behind the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.


  1. Constititution of India bare act
  2. Everything you need to know about the “Right to be forgotten” – GDPR.EU
  3. Plea in Delhi High Court: What is the ‘Right to be Forgotten’?- The Indian Express
  4. Right to be forgotten in India- Legal service India
  5. Right To Be Forgotten- Drishti IAS

Payel Singh
3rd year (5th sem) at MIT-WPU, Pune

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