UK May Enact A New Law On 'The Right To Be Forgotten'

A new law being proposed today by the British government could allow consumers to erase their personal data from the Internet. For a number of years, internet giants were allowed to collect data without question, but in recent years governments and consumers have fought for the right to be essentially erased from the World Wide Web under certain circumstances. Now, though, it appears that the UK government is hoping to enact a law so that any citizen will have the right to ask for all of their data to be erased.

As part of the proposed law, any UK citizen will be able to ask for any personal data, such as pictures, videos, or other personal information such as browsing data that is held by the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter to be deleted. This would give users much more control over their online presence. Such a law would also allow parents more control over the data collected on their children, while all companies would be forced to stop collecting data on users by default as UK citizens would have to opt into any data collecting programs. The new law is another big step in personal data protection efforts on the Old Continent after the EU's initial decision in 2014 that gave consumers the right to be forgotten in certain scenarios. Due to the UK's exit from the EU, though, it appears that the local government has taken data protection laws into its own hands in order to guarantee these rights to its citizens once Brexit is concluded in early 2019. The majority of tech companies affected by such regulations previously argued that these laws are a form of online censorship.

Unfortunately for Google, French regulators want the law implemented worldwide, something that would give consumers the ability to be erased from every search results, not just local ones. For now, this law is only a proposal and nothing is set completely in stone. Nonetheless, the proposal is clearly a new step toward online data protection and many consumers are expected to be pleased with the idea. The UK's newly proposed law still needs to be approved by the Parliament and may be enacted by early 2018, if not sooner.

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Joshua Swingle

Staff Writer
Born in London and raised in Spain. I Love traveling, taking pictures and, most of all, anything tech-related. Also a pretty big fan of binge-watching TV, especially Netflix shows.