Diritto all’oblio

Right to be forgotten

The permanence of data on the internet has created the need to better protect the individual and his digital identity; for this reason it is foreseen that, after a considerable period of time, each individual is entitled to request the cancellation of the information concerning him or her and circulating on the net, and this also following the loss of social usefulness regarding the disclosure of the information itself.

In this context, the right to be forgot and the right to personal identity tend to accumulate in that the re-emergence of event dating back to a person must take place in respect of the identity of the subject who is often damage by the dissemination of untrue or misleading information, contributing to the creation of an identity that does not correspond to reality.

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Right To Be Forgotten

The right to be forgot is understood as the right of a person to obtain the removal of personal information concerning him, if the public relevance to the dissemination of the information has cease due to the passage of time or for other reason.

In fact, the EU Regulation 2016/679 in art. 17 (entitled “Right to erasure” right to be forgot) establish the existence of a double right , on the one hand foreseeing the right of each person to obtain the cancellation of personal data concerning him and, consequently, the obligation for the data retention holder to delete the same. 


The right to be forgot therefore take the form of an individual’s claim to be able to once again control his or her personal history, guarantee respect for the right to self-determination and identity, ensuring the elimination of what “no longer belong to the identity of the person concern”, but, at the same time, saving what appear to be of great interest to society.

As specified by the aforementioned regulation you do not always have the right to delete data and information concerning us as, as specified in paragraph 3 of article 17, there are cases in which the right to oblivion succumbs and this can happen, for example, when important public interests come into play such as the defense of freedom of information.

Real Public Interest

Directly protected by art. 21 of our Constitution which affirm the right to inform and to be inform. It is up to the trial judge to verify the presence of a real public interest in the circulation of information concerning an individual who has become the protagonist of an important historical and cultural event.

In recent years, the Court of Cassation has rule on the configurability of the right to be forgot with reference to the information contain in the computer archive of the newspaper publish on the web. The facts that were the subject of the ruling concerned a politician who had requested.

Privacy Guarantor

First to the Privacy Guarantor and subsequently to the Court of Milan, to delete or move an article dated in time and who saw him arrested for corruption. Faced with the refusal of both requests, the applicant appealed to the Supreme Court.

Reaffirming his right to cancel the information contained in the aforementioned article; moreover, it referred to a right “ to the updating, rectification or integration of data ”. The Court accepted the appeal, affirming the need to balance the right to privacy and the right to information, which, in turn, finds a ” limit in the right to the personal or moral identity of the subject to whom the information is reports.

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Right To Privacy

Furthermore, the Court, after retracing the evolution of the right to privacy, speak of the right to be forgot, recalling what she herself affirm in a previous ruling: ” If the public interest underlying the right to information constitute a limit to the fundamental right.

To confidentiality, the subject to whom the data pertain is correlatively attribute the right to be forgot, that is, to no further disclosure of news that, due to the passage of time, is now forgot or unknow to the generality of the associate.

Digital Identity

From this it follows that, according to the Court, the right to be forgot must be recognize as a mean of safeguarding the personal and digital identity of a subject , since the individual is protect from the possibility of being damage by the dissemination of information that no longer correspond. to one’s personal identity. 

Consequently, for the Court, the right to be forgot coincide with the right to control one’s data and, in this control, the request to update and delete the data can be include, since, although the updating of data seem to be more link to the integration of information, according to the Court these aspect appear to be declination of the right to be forgot .


The right to be forgot concern the ability of a subject to control the data and information concerning him, not being a mere protection of confidentiality, but a desire to exercise control over the use of his data and the duration of their permanence on the network. 

In fact, it is state that the right to be forgot guarantee ” a dynamic protection of personal data, in the sense that the guarantee cannot be only the traditional and static one relating to confidentiality, but must become an essential component of digital citizenship, and of free construction identity .

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