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Google Effect - Good News Story


Google Effect - Good News Story

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Yankee
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Hi all,

Thought I'd share something positive and reassure everyone that there may be light at the end of the tunnel... My conviction recently became spent and with an uncommon name, I had fallen victim to the google effect previously.

I decided to write a personal email to my local newspaper groups (I found the person responsible for Data Privacy in the small print of their websites), highlighting my remorse, commitment to rehabilitation and asking them to help me rebuild my life / earn a living to support my family etc. etc.

The great news is that the articles were taken offline but that was just the start.

I then had to find all the news aggregation feeds that had linked to the original articles and re-published. While the links no longer went anywhere, they appeared in search results with the summary description (which of course named me and the offence). I therefore trawled all the leading search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, DuckDuckGo, Yandex,...) to find these links and then emailed the news sites to report the broken links. Most of them removed their links.

For the few remaining ones, I completed the online forms with each of the 6 search engines above. There was no push back as the original articles had been taken down so I didn't even need to provide any reasons or grovel. Eventually the search engine crawlers caught up and, hey presto, all the search results for my name are all the things I'm very comfortable with - social media, LinkedIn, sports reports and so on.

The feeling of relief once the conviction was spent was 8/10. The feeling of not being on Google et al is 11/10.  Now just another 5 years of notifying travel then I'm done with the system!
punter99
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Yankee - 19 Mar 20 4:16 PM
Hi all,

Thought I'd share something positive and reassure everyone that there may be light at the end of the tunnel... My conviction recently became spent and with an uncommon name, I had fallen victim to the google effect previously.

I decided to write a personal email to my local newspaper groups (I found the person responsible for Data Privacy in the small print of their websites), highlighting my remorse, commitment to rehabilitation and asking them to help me rebuild my life / earn a living to support my family etc. etc.

The great news is that the articles were taken offline but that was just the start.

I then had to find all the news aggregation feeds that had linked to the original articles and re-published. While the links no longer went anywhere, they appeared in search results with the summary description (which of course named me and the offence). I therefore trawled all the leading search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, DuckDuckGo, Yandex,...) to find these links and then emailed the news sites to report the broken links. Most of them removed their links.

For the few remaining ones, I completed the online forms with each of the 6 search engines above. There was no push back as the original articles had been taken down so I didn't even need to provide any reasons or grovel. Eventually the search engine crawlers caught up and, hey presto, all the search results for my name are all the things I'm very comfortable with - social media, LinkedIn, sports reports and so on.

The feeling of relief once the conviction was spent was 8/10. The feeling of not being on Google et al is 11/10.  Now just another 5 years of notifying travel then I'm done with the system!

Really good work and well done!  I was under the impression that convictions that are spent can be removed from Google under the right to be forgotten, but if the conviction isn't spent, it won't be removed, even if you ask. I might well test the water on this by writing to my local paper too. My conviction won't be spent for a couple of years though.

JASB
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Yankee - 19 Mar 20 4:16 PM
Hi all,

Thought I'd share something positive and reassure everyone that there may be light at the end of the tunnel... My conviction recently became spent and with an uncommon name, I had fallen victim to the google effect previously.

I decided to write a personal email to my local newspaper groups (I found the person responsible for Data Privacy in the small print of their websites), highlighting my remorse, commitment to rehabilitation and asking them to help me rebuild my life / earn a living to support my family etc. etc.

The great news is that the articles were taken offline but that was just the start.

I then had to find all the news aggregation feeds that had linked to the original articles and re-published. While the links no longer went anywhere, they appeared in search results with the summary description (which of course named me and the offence). I therefore trawled all the leading search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, DuckDuckGo, Yandex,...) to find these links and then emailed the news sites to report the broken links. Most of them removed their links.

For the few remaining ones, I completed the online forms with each of the 6 search engines above. There was no push back as the original articles had been taken down so I didn't even need to provide any reasons or grovel. Eventually the search engine crawlers caught up and, hey presto, all the search results for my name are all the things I'm very comfortable with - social media, LinkedIn, sports reports and so on.

The feeling of relief once the conviction was spent was 8/10. The feeling of not being on Google et al is 11/10.  Now just another 5 years of notifying travel then I'm done with the system!

Hi
All I wish to say is congratulations and thank you for the positive news.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
Yankee
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punter99 - 20 Mar 20 11:21 AM
Yankee - 19 Mar 20 4:16 PM
Hi all,

Thought I'd share something positive and reassure everyone that there may be light at the end of the tunnel... My conviction recently became spent and with an uncommon name, I had fallen victim to the google effect previously.

I decided to write a personal email to my local newspaper groups (I found the person responsible for Data Privacy in the small print of their websites), highlighting my remorse, commitment to rehabilitation and asking them to help me rebuild my life / earn a living to support my family etc. etc.

The great news is that the articles were taken offline but that was just the start.

I then had to find all the news aggregation feeds that had linked to the original articles and re-published. While the links no longer went anywhere, they appeared in search results with the summary description (which of course named me and the offence). I therefore trawled all the leading search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, DuckDuckGo, Yandex,...) to find these links and then emailed the news sites to report the broken links. Most of them removed their links.

For the few remaining ones, I completed the online forms with each of the 6 search engines above. There was no push back as the original articles had been taken down so I didn't even need to provide any reasons or grovel. Eventually the search engine crawlers caught up and, hey presto, all the search results for my name are all the things I'm very comfortable with - social media, LinkedIn, sports reports and so on.

The feeling of relief once the conviction was spent was 8/10. The feeling of not being on Google et al is 11/10.  Now just another 5 years of notifying travel then I'm done with the system!

Really good work and well done!  I was under the impression that convictions that are spent can be removed from Google under the right to be forgotten, but if the conviction isn't spent, it won't be removed, even if you ask. I might well test the water on this by writing to my local paper too. My conviction won't be spent for a couple of years though.

Unfortunately, Right to be Forgotten does not provide an automatic right to removal of information once a conviction is spent. The  media can still use their journalistic exemptions i.e. they were simply reporting factual information and have the right to make it available. Google and the search engines can use the 'in the public interest' exemption.

The court judgement last year (N1/N2) supported one applicant but rejected the other - if I remember, the reasons given included lack of remorse and fraud conviction which the public were entitled to know about as the person still worked in a business where it was relevant.

The good news is that it is certainly much easier to argue 'no public interest' and 'right to privacy' now than it was previously and you are far more likely to be listened to by the newspapers, Google and the ICO.

Unfortunately, for some offences there is an inherent bias that people deserve to know so you still find for many the default position for those offences is to say 'no' to removal requests. Bottom line is that there is no definitive law and you are still reliant on the newspaper / Google / ICO evaluating the facts of your particular case on its merits.




Yankee
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punter99 - 20 Mar 20 11:21 AM
Yankee - 19 Mar 20 4:16 PM
Hi all,

Thought I'd share something positive and reassure everyone that there may be light at the end of the tunnel... My conviction recently became spent and with an uncommon name, I had fallen victim to the google effect previously.

I decided to write a personal email to my local newspaper groups (I found the person responsible for Data Privacy in the small print of their websites), highlighting my remorse, commitment to rehabilitation and asking them to help me rebuild my life / earn a living to support my family etc. etc.

The great news is that the articles were taken offline but that was just the start.

I then had to find all the news aggregation feeds that had linked to the original articles and re-published. While the links no longer went anywhere, they appeared in search results with the summary description (which of course named me and the offence). I therefore trawled all the leading search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, DuckDuckGo, Yandex,...) to find these links and then emailed the news sites to report the broken links. Most of them removed their links.

For the few remaining ones, I completed the online forms with each of the 6 search engines above. There was no push back as the original articles had been taken down so I didn't even need to provide any reasons or grovel. Eventually the search engine crawlers caught up and, hey presto, all the search results for my name are all the things I'm very comfortable with - social media, LinkedIn, sports reports and so on.

The feeling of relief once the conviction was spent was 8/10. The feeling of not being on Google et al is 11/10.  Now just another 5 years of notifying travel then I'm done with the system!

Really good work and well done!  I was under the impression that convictions that are spent can be removed from Google under the right to be forgotten, but if the conviction isn't spent, it won't be removed, even if you ask. I might well test the water on this by writing to my local paper too. My conviction won't be spent for a couple of years though.

With regard your unspent conviction, I decided to bide my time as I didn't want to give them an easy option to say No.

In fact,the response from one of the newspapers specifically mentioned the fact that the conviction was now spent. It didn't say that was the reason for agreeing to my request but the fact they acknowledged it suggests it helped influence their decision.

I know 2 years must feel like a very long time but if you can be patient I suspect you will significantly increase your chances of success.




Edited
Last Year by Yankee
Zack
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Yankee - 20 Mar 20 2:06 PM
punter99 - 20 Mar 20 11:21 AM
Yankee - 19 Mar 20 4:16 PM
Hi all,

Thought I'd share something positive and reassure everyone that there may be light at the end of the tunnel... My conviction recently became spent and with an uncommon name, I had fallen victim to the google effect previously.

I decided to write a personal email to my local newspaper groups (I found the person responsible for Data Privacy in the small print of their websites), highlighting my remorse, commitment to rehabilitation and asking them to help me rebuild my life / earn a living to support my family etc. etc.

The great news is that the articles were taken offline but that was just the start.

I then had to find all the news aggregation feeds that had linked to the original articles and re-published. While the links no longer went anywhere, they appeared in search results with the summary description (which of course named me and the offence). I therefore trawled all the leading search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, DuckDuckGo, Yandex,...) to find these links and then emailed the news sites to report the broken links. Most of them removed their links.

For the few remaining ones, I completed the online forms with each of the 6 search engines above. There was no push back as the original articles had been taken down so I didn't even need to provide any reasons or grovel. Eventually the search engine crawlers caught up and, hey presto, all the search results for my name are all the things I'm very comfortable with - social media, LinkedIn, sports reports and so on.

The feeling of relief once the conviction was spent was 8/10. The feeling of not being on Google et al is 11/10.  Now just another 5 years of notifying travel then I'm done with the system!

Really good work and well done!  I was under the impression that convictions that are spent can be removed from Google under the right to be forgotten, but if the conviction isn't spent, it won't be removed, even if you ask. I might well test the water on this by writing to my local paper too. My conviction won't be spent for a couple of years though.

With regard your unspent conviction, I decided to bide my time as I didn't want to give them an easy option to say No.

In fact,the response from one of the newspapers specifically mentioned the fact that the conviction was now spent. It didn't say that was the reason for agreeing to my request but the fact they acknowledged it suggests it helped influence their decision.

I know 2 years must feel like a very long time but if you can be patient I suspect you will significantly increase your chances of success.




That's good news, you must be relieved. Can I ask what your offence was and how long ago? i would have thought the fact that the original article had been removed was a strong indication that the "public interest" element could not be argued. My partner had a 6 month prison sentence, which would normally be spent 2 years after. However a 7 year SHPO was added, which means that it won't be spent for 7 years (it was originally an indefinite SHPO - but thankfully that was appealed and changed - but it still equates to an additional 5 years).
As for the N1/N2 Right to be Forgotten judgement, it noted that when N1 left prison the rules were different, his conviction would never become spent, and that was one out of many factors that the judgement considered. The rules changed at some point, meaning it has now become spent, but had it even been a day longer then conviction would be unspent even today, and the defendant never had an expectation of it become spent at the time of conviction. The conclusion was that a conviction become spent was a strong factor in favour of delisting, but the whole circumstances needed to be explored. N1 went to lengths to hide his past, even put up false articles to hide it - and this and other factors were taken into account. Permission for an appeal was granted, but Google settled before it came to court. So we never got the actual clarity that we needed - which is a shame. I'm guessing we will never know the details of the Google settlement. This case was brought before GDPR fully came into affect, so I'm not sure whether or not that impacted the judgement too. I would be interested if others know.

Debbie Sadler
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Hi Yankee

This is really fantastic news and quite unusual. I've seen lots of people who've contacted search engines get links to their names removed only to find that the newspapers refuse to take the story down. This of course means that you're less likely to be found by people doing random google searches but, anybody who knows the area where you live could still do searches on local newspapers. 

The way you made your request is brilliant and I wonder if asking them to help you rebuild your life, earn a living, support your family played some part in your success. This seems a really affable way of approaching them.

If you'd like to expand on your story and write something that could be published on theRecord I'd love to hear from you. Find out more info at http://www.the-record.org.uk/contribute/.

Thanks for sharing, we could all do with some good news stories at the moment.

Debs



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marcovanba
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That's fantastic!!!

I have another 11 months (to the day) until my conviction is spent. (After 6 years)

I'm counting down the days lol

Like you I have an unusual name and will probably approach Google in one years time.

I am no longer involved in the same line of work and I was handed a favourable sentence by the judge. He was on my side and of course I was extremely remorseful.

Downside is, my story made both the Daily Mail and local BBC news websites. Not holding out much hope of the Daily Mail agreeing, if I approach them directly.

Will just have to wait and see.

Alternative, is I may start to use my middle name, as part of my official name.

Thanks for posting this.
GO


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