I am a newly qualified doctor with a passion for helping and changing peoples lives for the better. I hope to one day become a consultant in my field.
In my teenage years, I made a severe error of judgement, I was encouraged by a friend to accept parcel deliveries as part of a conspiracy to defraud catalogue firms. I naively did what was asked of me with little thought of the consequences, which resulted in a minor criminal conviction for fraud.
I deeply regret my part in what happened, and have now moved on in my personal life, prioritising my career and wife and children.
However, I continued to be punished for my crime which has been fully spent for a long time. Online articles which were largely inaccurate and untrue remained available for anyone to read at any time. It was causing me tremendous personal anxiety and distress as well as my wife and children. I was experiencing large professional damage in a career which relies heavily on trust and reputation.
I Googled how to remove content online in May 2021 and came across Internet Erasure Ltd. I found a wealth of information on their website about how I can apply for the removal of these old articles from the big search engines. With their advice I applied to Google for the removal of various links. However, I was unsuccessful in my application.
Feeling frustrated with the outcome I again reached out to Internet Erasure for help, deciding to use their services having seen their clear expertise in this area of privacy law. Within a week I received a thorough adverse media report showing all searches that came up under my name with various auto complete entries also.
The Internet Erasure team then applied to Google, Bing, and Yahoo for the removal/deindexation of the content, using the Right to be Forgotten. Their specific argument about why this content relating to a past crime should be removed, was because it was legally spent meaning that I shouldn’t be forced to always disclose this crime to everyone on the internet. Internet Erasure explained this to me as Enforced Disclosure which I was being subjected to every time people were Googling my name.
Amazingly within one month my links were removed from Google and Bing (and the other smaller search engines). Yahoo however refused a few links believing it to be in the publics’ interest to have them appear in search results. The team at Internet Erasure did not stop there, they applied to The Information Commissioner, determined to uphold my Right to be Forgotten online. The ICO agreed on the grounds for removal quoting the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (that when your conviction becomes spent you must be treated for all purposes in law as a person who has never committed the crime).
I am very pleased to say that by January 2022 (just seven months after initially approaching Internet Erasure) my results were removed from all the search engines. The relief I have felt being able to finally move on with my life is huge, I see the future as full of opportunities now for myself and my family.
I encourage anyone who wants to take back control of their privacy online to approach Internet Erasure, at www.interneterasure.co.uk they do an incredible job.
Signed a doctor
Photographer: Daniel Sone, Unsplash.com