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Spent convictions available to view on Google


Spent convictions available to view on Google

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Marsbar88
Marsbar88
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Hi, I think more attention needs to placed on the google effect. It's a massive issue which impacts loads of people. I have a spent conviction, but recently I faced an awkward conversation when someone I know had googled me- presumably to see how I was doing with jobs. I guess that's why people Google others? They found an online article relating to my spent conviction. This person did not know about my past and I now feel extremely vulnerable because potentially anyone can also find out about my past conviction. I asked Google to de-list on the basis that it was spent but they declined. I am constantly anxious that someone else will find out about my past by using Google, it doesn't seem fair to me because legally I'm not supposed to declare my record in most cases but anyone can just use Google. I work in an office and at application the job only asked about unspent convictions- so I don't have to declare. However, I'm now worried that it's only a matter of time before a colleague Googles me and then I would no doubt have to resign due to the sheer embarrassment. This can't be right, it completely undermines the ROA. It's a major problem for me because I feel like my past could just be brought up by anyone I come into contact with. And this is a problem which I could face for the rest of my life, my only option is to change my name and start afresh- which I'd rather not do. I think this is something Unlock needs to urgently address as one of their main goals. 
Monkos
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Marsbar88 - 10 Aug 19 9:15 PM
Hi, I think more attention needs to placed on the google effect. It's a massive issue which impacts loads of people. I have a spent conviction, but recently I faced an awkward conversation when someone I know had googled me- presumably to see how I was doing with jobs. I guess that's why people Google others? They found an online article relating to my spent conviction. This person did not know about my past and I now feel extremely vulnerable because potentially anyone can also find out about my past conviction. I asked Google to de-list on the basis that it was spent but they declined. I am constantly anxious that someone else will find out about my past by using Google, it doesn't seem fair to me because legally I'm not supposed to declare my record in most cases but anyone can just use Google. I work in an office and at application the job only asked about unspent convictions- so I don't have to declare. However, I'm now worried that it's only a matter of time before a colleague Googles me and then I would no doubt have to resign due to the sheer embarrassment. This can't be right, it completely undermines the ROA. It's a major problem for me because I feel like my past could just be brought up by anyone I come into contact with. And this is a problem which I could face for the rest of my life, my only option is to change my name and start afresh- which I'd rather not do. I think this is something Unlock needs to urgently address as one of their main goals. 

Change your name. The people to demand to take down the article are the website publishers, not google. If they take it off, google's indexes will refresh and it won't be there after a few weeks. You can use GDPR laws to demand to take down that sort of information.
Thorswrath
Thorswrath
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I think you have a few options here. The most effective one would be legally changing your name.

There is a story on 'the record' online magazine that unlock publishes and it might help you The record article

Google rarely de-list conviction related material unless they are forced legally to do so. I believe their position is to deny all requests at first simply because it's easier to do so. In the article i mentioned, the individual had to write to the information comissioners office. If your conviction is legally spent then they can enforce the regulations without the need of expensive lawyer fees.

That would be your next step, write to the ICO and explain your situation

CC
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Thorswrath - 12 Aug 19 11:35 AM
I think you have a few options here. The most effective one would be legally changing your name.

There is a story on 'the record' online magazine that unlock publishes and it might help you The record article

Google rarely de-list conviction related material unless they are forced legally to do so. I believe their position is to deny all requests at first simply because it's easier to do so. In the article i mentioned, the individual had to write to the information comissioners office. If your conviction is legally spent then they can enforce the regulations without the need of expensive lawyer fees.

That would be your next step, write to the ICO and explain your situation

Hi Thorswrath, I would like to take a look at that article but am unable to open the link, any chance you could paste the url please
Thorswrath
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CC - 12 Aug 19 12:21 PM
Thorswrath - 12 Aug 19 11:35 AM
I think you have a few options here. The most effective one would be legally changing your name.

There is a story on 'the record' online magazine that unlock publishes and it might help you The record article

Google rarely de-list conviction related material unless they are forced legally to do so. I believe their position is to deny all requests at first simply because it's easier to do so. In the article i mentioned, the individual had to write to the information comissioners office. If your conviction is legally spent then they can enforce the regulations without the need of expensive lawyer fees.

That would be your next step, write to the ICO and explain your situation

Hi Thorswrath, I would like to take a look at that article but am unable to open the link, any chance you could paste the url please

https://www.the-record.org.uk/unlock-people-with-convictions/google-you-know-my-name-but-dont-judge-me-when-you-dont-know-my-story/

CC
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Thorswrath - 12 Aug 19 7:22 PM
CC - 12 Aug 19 12:21 PM
Thorswrath - 12 Aug 19 11:35 AM
I think you have a few options here. The most effective one would be legally changing your name.

There is a story on 'the record' online magazine that unlock publishes and it might help you The record article

Google rarely de-list conviction related material unless they are forced legally to do so. I believe their position is to deny all requests at first simply because it's easier to do so. In the article i mentioned, the individual had to write to the information comissioners office. If your conviction is legally spent then they can enforce the regulations without the need of expensive lawyer fees.

That would be your next step, write to the ICO and explain your situation

Hi Thorswrath, I would like to take a look at that article but am unable to open the link, any chance you could paste the url please

https://www.the-record.org.uk/unlock-people-with-convictions/google-you-know-my-name-but-dont-judge-me-when-you-dont-know-my-story/

Hi Thorswrath, thanks for that I did manage to open the link but my google browser and also duck-duck go browser warned me that the site was "unsafe" as its safety certificate expired 104 days ago and could easily be hacked. I really wish Unlock would update their site which they haven't and wont say why despite requests from me and others nor will they say why not.
There is some vulnerable and sensitive content on here and I for one am uncomfortable about using an unsecured http site. my own business site was updated to https ages ago and it was quite easy so I dont know whats going on over at Unlock???
Edited
Last Year by CC
Harmless
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Marsbar88 - 10 Aug 19 9:15 PM
Hi, I think more attention needs to placed on the google effect. It's a massive issue which impacts loads of people. I have a spent conviction, but recently I faced an awkward conversation when someone I know had googled me- presumably to see how I was doing with jobs. I guess that's why people Google others? They found an online article relating to my spent conviction. This person did not know about my past and I now feel extremely vulnerable because potentially anyone can also find out about my past conviction. I asked Google to de-list on the basis that it was spent but they declined. I am constantly anxious that someone else will find out about my past by using Google, it doesn't seem fair to me because legally I'm not supposed to declare my record in most cases but anyone can just use Google. I work in an office and at application the job only asked about unspent convictions- so I don't have to declare. However, I'm now worried that it's only a matter of time before a colleague Googles me and then I would no doubt have to resign due to the sheer embarrassment. This can't be right, it completely undermines the ROA. It's a major problem for me because I feel like my past could just be brought up by anyone I come into contact with. And this is a problem which I could face for the rest of my life, my only option is to change my name and start afresh- which I'd rather not do. I think this is something Unlock needs to urgently address as one of their main goals. 

What is the latest state of various procedures, formal and informal, to get google results and newspaper pages etc expunged for spent convictions?



AB2014
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Harmless - 26 Aug 19 12:11 PM
Marsbar88 - 10 Aug 19 9:15 PM
Hi, I think more attention needs to placed on the google effect. It's a massive issue which impacts loads of people. I have a spent conviction, but recently I faced an awkward conversation when someone I know had googled me- presumably to see how I was doing with jobs. I guess that's why people Google others? They found an online article relating to my spent conviction. This person did not know about my past and I now feel extremely vulnerable because potentially anyone can also find out about my past conviction. I asked Google to de-list on the basis that it was spent but they declined. I am constantly anxious that someone else will find out about my past by using Google, it doesn't seem fair to me because legally I'm not supposed to declare my record in most cases but anyone can just use Google. I work in an office and at application the job only asked about unspent convictions- so I don't have to declare. However, I'm now worried that it's only a matter of time before a colleague Googles me and then I would no doubt have to resign due to the sheer embarrassment. This can't be right, it completely undermines the ROA. It's a major problem for me because I feel like my past could just be brought up by anyone I come into contact with. And this is a problem which I could face for the rest of my life, my only option is to change my name and start afresh- which I'd rather not do. I think this is something Unlock needs to urgently address as one of their main goals. 

What is the latest state of various procedures, formal and informal, to get google results and newspaper pages etc expunged for spent convictions?



Well, Unlock's information was last updated in February 2017, which was before the Data Protection Act 2018, obviously. The new law is much tighter than the old law, but I wouldn't like to get into the technicalities of the new law. It does seem to be forcing some organisations to change their ways, though, so who knows?

=========================================================
Grrr! Aaargh!

AB2014
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Marsbar88 - 22 Oct 19 7:19 PM
Hi, so I wrote to the ICO to ask them to de-list an article relating to my spent conviction. Unfortunately, the case officer wrote back to me to state: "the continued availability of this search result remains in the public interest at this time". He stated that the ICO recognised the importance of search results in making journalistic content. He also said the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act is an important part of their considerations but not a definitive one. This is despite the fact I explained that it would almost certainly mean the end of my employment if a colleague were to find this. Here it is folks, this is the reality- the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act means f all. What a joke, so when I lose my job I'm just supposed to go down to the job centre and get another job? Surely future employers will Google me and I'll struggle to find long-term employment forever. This in no way helps with the rehabilitation of a person and it makes a spent conviction seem pointless. The ROA is a useless piece of legislation and it's initial use has been rendered ineffective thanks to Google. The ICO, a government organisation- doesn't give a crap if you have a spent conviction. Wow, so now it looks like I have no choice but to change my name in order to live a normal life. 

Sorry to hear you've drawn a blank so far. You could always try complaining/appealing to them, as it might get you a better result, and the worst they can do is say no. Even if they still feel it is in the public interest, they might give you a timescale for when a second application might be successful.

Mind you, changing your name might give you a better chance, especially in the short term. Unlock has some info about this here.

=========================================================
Grrr! Aaargh!

JASB
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Please see my article Change your name and SOPO / SOR applications



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