Lords question Minister on the right to be forgotten

09 July 2014

The House of Lords Home Affairs, Health and Education European Union Sub-Committee will question Simon Hughes, Justice and Civil Liberties Minister, on Wednesday 9 July, as part of its inquiry into the consequences of the Court of Justice’s ruling that data subjects can require Google to remove links to information lawfully on the website


Wednesday 9 July, Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster

At 11am:

  • Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP, Minister for Justice and Civil Liberties

Possible questions

  • given that the Government is opposed to the ‘right to be forgotten’, why it did not intervene in the proceedings before the Court of Justice
  • whether the Government agrees with the Court’s ruling that Google, and other search engines, can be classed as a data controller
  • the Government’s current thinking on the ‘right to be forgotten’ in the draft Regulation
  • the current situation with the negotiations on the data protection package
  • how he thinks the Regulation will affect businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, if it is enacted in its current form

About the inquiry

The inquiry is part of the Committee’s scrutiny of proposals for a new EU Regulation and Directive on data protection.

The Court’s judgment interprets the current 1995 Directive to give data subjects the right to require search engines to remove links to information lawfully on the website if they think it is prejudicial to them – the ‘right to be forgotten’. Under the new proposals, data subjects would be given enhanced powers to have their data amended or erased completely.

The judgment has been criticised as an interference with the right to give and receive information. There are also concerns that compliance may be difficult or even impossible.

The Committee is considering the position which the Government should adopt when negotiations resume on the new Regulation.

Further information

Image: PA

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