Right to be forgotten does not apply to company registry

The right to be forgotten enables an individual to request the deletion or removal of personal data whether there is no compelling reason for its continued processing. However, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that the right does not apply to personal data in a companies register.

An Italian company director believed that various properties in a tourist complex failed to sell because the companies’ register disclosed that his previous company had been declared insolvent and struck off the register. He applied to the Chamber of Commerce requiring it to anonymise or block data linking him to his previous liquidation and to pay damages. The ECJ was asked to consider whether member states may allow individuals to request that access to their personal data on the companies register is limited to a specified period of time following dissolution of a company.

The ECJ decided that the public disclosure requirements took precedence over the protection of personal data in the interests of promoting legal certainty and protecting third parties in relation to limited liability companies.

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