Your Right to Erasure
As a data subject you have the right to erasure in certain circumstances. This is commonly referred to as the right to be forgotten.
The most common circumstances in which a data controller is obliged to delete your personal data will be if they hold information about you which they no longer require for the purpose for which it was originally collected.
The controller is also obliged to inform any third-parties who they shared your personal data with that you have requested this data be deleted.
This right is set out in Article 17 of the GDPR and the obligation on data controllers to inform third parties is set out in Article 19. The full text of these articles is at the bottom of this page.
Read more elsewhere
‘Can I ask a company to delete my personal data?’, European Commission.
‘The right to erasure (Articles 17 & 19 of the GDPR)’, Data Protection Commission of Ireland. This page also explains the exemptions to the right to erasure which are present in the GDPR and the Irish Data Protection Act 2018.
1. The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay and the controller shall have the obligation to erase personal data without undue delay where one of the following grounds applies: (a) the personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed; (b)the data subject withdraws consent on which the processing is based according to point (a) of Article 6(1), or point (a) of Article 9(2), and where there is no other legal ground for the processing; (c) the data subject objects to the processing pursuant to Article 21(1) and there are no overriding legitimate grounds for the processing, or the data subject objects to the processing pursuant to Article 21(2); (d) the personal data have been unlawfully processed; (e) the personal data have to be erased for compliance with a legal obligation in Union or Member State law to which the controller is subject; (f) the personal data have been collected in relation to the offer of information society services referred to in Article 8(1). 2. Where the controller has made the personal data public and is obliged pursuant to paragraph 1 to erase the personal data, the controller, taking account of available technology and the cost of implementation, shall take reasonable steps, including technical measures, to inform controllers which are processing the personal data that the data subject has requested the erasure by such controllers of any links to, or copy or replication of, those personal data. 3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply to the extent that processing is necessary: (a) for exercising the right of freedom of expression and information; (b) for compliance with a legal obligation which requires processing by Union or Member State law to which the controller is subject or for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller; (c) for reasons of public interest in the area of public health in accordance with points (h) and (i) of Article 9(2) as well as Article 9(3); (d) for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) in so far as the right referred to in paragraph 1 is likely to render impossible or seriously impair the achievement of the objectives of that processing; or (e) for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
The controller shall communicate any rectification or erasure of personal data or restriction of processing carried out in accordance with Article 16, Article 17(1) and Article 18 to each recipient to whom the personal data have been disclosed, unless this proves impossible or involves disproportionate effort. The controller shall inform the data subject about those recipients if the data subject requests it.
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