UK government drafts new 'right to be forgotten' law

All that silly stuff you posted online as a kid? Soon it could be gone forever.

Katie Collins
Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
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The right to be forgotten could be extended in UK law.


British citizens could get more control over what happens to their personal data, including the right to be forgotten, according to draft legislation proposed by the government on Monday.

A new Data Protection Bill would see adults and children given the right to ask social media services to permanently delete information about them. It will also bring the EU's General Data Protection Regulation into UK law, meaning that British people will still be protected by the same rules they are now following Brexit.

  • The new Bill would add the following protections:
  • Make it simpler to withdraw consent for the use of personal data
  • Allow people to ask for their personal data held by companies to be erased
  • Enable parents and guardians to give consent for their child's data to be used
  • Require "explicit" consent to be necessary for processing sensitive personal data
  • Update and strengthen data protection law to reflect the changing nature and scope of the digital economy
  • Make it easier and free for individuals to require an organisation to disclose the personal data it holds on them
  • Make it easier for customers to move data between service providers
  • These provisions will place more burden on social media companies to ensure they are making it easy for users to make requests regarding their data, and will also see them lumbered with bigger fines if they suffer a data breach.

Digitial Minister Matt Hancock said in a statement he hopes the measures will "give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account."