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Right to Erasure (to be forgotten)

The right to erasure does not provide an absolute ‘right to be forgotten’. you have a right to have personal data erased and to prevent processing in specific circumstances:

  • Where the personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally collected/processed.
  • When you withdraws consent.
  • When you object to the processing and there is no overriding legitimate interest for continuing the processing.
  • The personal data was unlawfully processed (ie otherwise in breach of the DPA2018 & GDPR).
  • The personal data has to be erased in order to comply with a legal obligation.
  • The personal data is processed in relation to the offer of information society services to a child.

This right is not limited to processing that causes unwarranted and substantial damage or distress. However, if the processing does cause damage or distress, this is likely to make the case for erasure stronger.

We can refuse to comply with a request for erasure where the personal data is processed for the following reasons:

  • to exercise the right of freedom of expression and information;
  • to comply with a legal obligation for the performance of a public interest task or exercise of official authority.
  • for public health purposes in the public interest; archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific research historical research or statistical purposes; or the exercise or defense of legal claims.

Please note that the right to be forgotten does not apply to special category data.  i.e. Your medical record