Google has revealed that out of every 10 requests it gets asking for the removal of a web link from search engine results, one is from the UK, and most relate to Facebook and YouTube links.

While Google has been a key destination for people eager to take advantage of Europe’s ‘Right to be Forgotten,’ it is important to remember that the law applies equally to other firms.

Worryingly, our research shows that companies would struggle to comply with EU guidance. Worryingly, some consumers doubt they would even try to do so.

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We discovered that just 43 percent of European firms believe they can delete all personal information if the individual in question asks them to, and 86 percent of consumers don’t believe a company would honour a request to remove their data, even if the company assured them it had been. In addition, over 90 percent of customers in the UK say they now deal with so many organisations, both online and offline, that they no longer know who holds what information about them.

Our research suggests that consumers’ attitudes have shifted since the EU reforms were first drawn up in 2011. While consumers today remain happy to conduct much of their business and social lives online, they no longer trust organisations to comply with a request to delete personal data. Firms have much to gain from building trust before the law obliges them to do so. Trust builds loyalty, and loyalty drives sales.

Businesses need to take ‘right to be forgotten’ seriously and assume full responsibility with a complete understanding of what data they hold, where they hold it, and how to delete or destroy it securely when asked to do so. The European guidance is clear; companies that aren’t compliant risk not only breaking the law but also enduring a backlash from the public.

By Christian Toon, Head of Information Risk for Europe, Iron Mountain

About Iron Mountain

Iron-Mountain-1Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) is a leading provider of storage and information management solutions. The company’s real estate network of 64 million square feet across more than 1,000 facilities in 36 countries allows it to serve customers around the world. And its solutions for records management, data backup and recovery, document management and secure shredding help organisations to lower storage costs, comply with regulations, recover from disaster, and better use their information for business advantage. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain stores and protects billions of information assets, including business documents, backup tapes, electronic files and medical data. Visit www.ironmountain.co.uk for more information.

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