Diritto all’oblio

Web reputational: between the right to be forgotten and the right to information

However, always art. 17 establishes that the diritto all oblio to cancellation does not exist when the processing of data is necessary to satisfy certain needs; among these, for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and information or for archiving purposes in the public interest, for scientific or historical research .

In principle, therefore it will be necessary to balance the individual right to the protection of privacy. And the protection of personal data, on the one hand, and the right to freedom of information, on the other. Beyond these general principles. There remains the problem of establishing when the processing of personal data is actually “necessary”. To exercise the freedom of expression and information or archiving in the public interest.

Right To Information

The last word always belongs to the interpreter that is to the authority (Privacy Guarantor or Judge) called to decide. Whether in a certain case submitted to his examination the person can legitimately claim that a news concerning him. Even if legitimately disclosed in the past, does not remain exposed indefinitely to the possibility of new disclosure. A recent ruling by the United Sections of the Court of Cassation (No. 19681 of 22 July 2019) intervened on the relationship between the right to be forgotten and the right to information.

In the first two degrees of the Judgment the Judges had ruled considering the right of news. To prevail over the right to confidentiality. Subsequently the Court of Cassation called upon to rule in the conflict between these two opposing rights. Held that the judge must assess the public, concrete and current interest in mentioning the identifying elements of the people who were the protagonists of those events. 

Public Role

The (historical) re-enactment of these elements is lawful only if it refers to characters who in the present arouse the interest of the community , both for reasons of notoriety and for the public role covered; otherwise, the right of the data subject to privacy prevail over past event which wound their dignity and honor and whose collective memory is now extinguish.

The ruling in question establish that the right to be forgot “is connect, in a dialectical couple, to the right to report”, give that it exist when “there is no longer an appreciable social utility to inform the public; or the news is become “false” as it is not update or, finally, when the disclosure of the facts has not been commensurate with the information requirement and has caused a vulned to the dignity of the person concern “, as also reported below.

Also read: cos è il diritto all oblio


In various ruling, the Supreme Court has recognize the right to be forgot, clarifying that the passage of time changes the relationship between the opposing rights; for which, except in the case of a person who plays a particular public role or for one in which the news maintains a public interest over time, “the publication of information concerning a specific person, after some time from facts and event that concern you, can only integrate the violation of the fundamental right to be forgot.

What are the limit to the right to be forgot and to report?

The Cass. Civil with the historic sentence no. 5259/1984 has identified three assumptions that operate as limits to the right of the press:

  • Objective truthfulness of the facts exposed or even just the putative truth, as long as it is the result of a serious and diligent work of research and verification of the sources.
  • The social utility of knowing the fact.
  • Respect for the dignity of the person cd. “Continence or civil form of exposure”

On the other hand, the condition that operate as limit to the right to be forgot are:

  • False news.
  • No presence of a social utility to the knowledge of the fact or dated.
  • Vilnius to the dignity of the person concerned cos’è diritto oblio.