The Public’s Right to know trumps right to be forgotten in case of major crimes, Italian DPA decides

Garante-privacy 2On October 6, 2016, the Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali) (“Italian DPA”)  issued an order denying the right to be forgotten to those involved in major crimes.

A former city counselor involved in an investigation for corruption and fraud requested a de-indexation of some related articles.

The events occurred in 2006. In 2012, he entered into a plea bargaining  which became final.

The petitioner demanded Google to delete the relevant links from search results because the events occurred 10 years and did not relate to his current job.  Google denied his request.

The Italian DPA agreed with Google. The right to be forgotten attaches only after a considerable amount of time from the facts. However, the time factor weights less when the relevant information concerns “serious crimes”.

In this case, the crimes were bribery and fraud against the Italian government. In addition, the Italian DPA highlighted the current interest of the public in issues of this kind and deemed that the data processing did not disproportionately affect the data subject. It therefore denied the petitioner’s request to be forgotten.


Decision n. 400 dated October 6, 2016 (doc. web n. 5690378) is available in Italian at…                                       Open PDF


For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal.

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