People will have the right to delete their online past, says UK Government

People will be able to make social media platforms like Facebook delete information, including content published in their childhood, under proposals announced by the UK Government.

Individuals will have more control over their data by having “the right to be forgotten” and ask for their personal data to be erased in the measures published today by Digital Minister Matt Hancock.

Companies will also have to ask people for permission to collect personal data rather than rely on pre-selected tick boxes, which are largely ignored, he said.

The new rules will bring British law into line with the European Union’s general data protection regulation (GDPR), which tightens and extends the scope of data protection law.

The GDPR becomes enforceable from May 2018.

Lawyers and technology industry experts have said Britain will have to continue complying with GDPR after it leaves the European Union in 2019 to avoid disruption to the data traffic that is essential to international business.

Hancock said the rules would give Britain one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world.

The data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), will be given the power to issue higher fines, of up to £17m or 4% of global turnover, in cases of very serious data breaches, he said.