Public Announcement on The Criteria to Be Taken into Account When Assessing Requests to Delist the Results Displayed Following a Search Made Based on Person’s Name and Surname from a Search Engine’s Index
As a result of the evaluation of the applications which were submitted to our Authority about the searches made by the name and surnames of the data subjects through search engines and which are requested to be evaluated within the scope of the “Right to be Forgotten” by Personal Data Protection Board, The Board adopted the decision dated 23.06.2020 and numbered 2020/481.
In accordance with this Decision, it has been decided that:
- “Right to Be Forgotten” subject to the applications submitted to our Authority has been evaluated by considering it as a top concept within the framework of the provision of the third paragraph of Article 20 of the Constitution, the regulations in the Articles 4, 7 and 11 of the Law No. 6698 and Article 8 of The Regulation on the Erasure, Destruction or Anonymization of the Personal Data,
- The right to request that the results related to the person not be achieved in searches made by the name and surname of the search engines included in the applications made to our Authority, is defined as a request to be removed from the index,
- Considering that search engines determine the purposes and means of processing the data collected by third parties on the internet, they are accepted as data controller within the scope of the definition in Article 3 of the Law,
- Considering that the operator of the search engine automatically, regularly and systematically finds the information published on the Internet, then organizes personal data in the form of a list of search results, stores it on its servers, discloses it in certain situations and presents it to its users, activities of the search engines are evaluated as 'personal data processing' within the scope of Article 3 of the Law,
- Based on the procedures and periods specified in the provisions of the Law on the right of application and complaint, the data subjects should first apply to the search engines regarding their requests to remove the search results from the index, if the data controller search engines refuse such requests or do not respond to the applicant, then they can complain to the Board,
- The form of the application to be made by the data subjects and the information and documents to be requested will be determined by the search engines,
- In the evaluation of the requests to be made by the data subjects for the removal of the results displayed from the index following a search made based on their name and surname through the search engines, conducting a balancing test between the fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject and the interests that the public will obtain from the information in question, observing which of the competing interests outweigh, it is important to take into account the explanations given in the annex while making this evaluation, but the criteria to be taken into consideration in the evaluation process of complaints about this issue will not be limited to these, additional criteria may be brought up by the Board in each specific case,
- It is also possible for the data subjects to apply directly to the judiciary while applying to the Board if their requests for the removal of the results shown as a result of the searches made with their own names and surnames through the search engines are rejected by the data controller search engines or if their requests are not answered,
- Ensuring that necessary actions are taken to ensure that the procedures and principles in this decision are notified to the search engine operator companies and that the necessary actions are taken to ensure that the communication channels are used by the citizens of our country in order to ensure that the right to be forgotten is exercised by the data subjects through their websites.
Respectfully announced to the public.