Right To Be Forgotten

Russians obtained the right to remove inaccurate information about themselves from the Internet. "The right to be forgotten", a legal concept that is gaining momentum in the European Union, the United States and several Latin American countries, has been introduced to the Russian law.

On 1 January 2016, the Federal Law "On Amendments to the Federal Law "On Information, Information Technologies and Protection of Information" comes into force. Generally, the law is similar to the provisions of article 17 of the draft European Data Protection Regulation.

Now, one can demand from a search engine operating in Russia the removal of links to information about such individual.

The reason for the removal is that the information is not accurate. The information does not need to be false or defamatory. For example, if a citizen changed his job, he or she may be able to demand the removal of links to the electronic directory which refers to his/her former place of work.

The law does not restrict access to the websites that contain such information. In this respect, the law on defamation still applies.

In addition, a civil servant may not require the removal of the information about his or her property or income. One cannot demand to hide information about criminal conviction. Serving a sentence does not automatically mean the quashing or cancellation of the record.

The law introduces into the Russian legal reality the concept that is getting recognition in a number of countries. In particular, similar rules are contained in the EU Directive 95/46/EC as well as article 17 of the draft European Data Protection Regulation, the decision of the European Court of Justice in the Google Spain v Gonzalez case.

At the same time in the old case Sidis v. FR Publishing Corp. The New York Federal Appeals Court questioned the unconditional right to oblivion, at least in those cases when it comes to the citizen who may be perceived as a "celebrities".