Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Online Reputations

Google, doctors, and the “right to be forgotten”

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 06 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h27

Re: Google, doctors, and the “right to be forgotten”

Following my earlier post, I can now add that the regulator in the UK (ICO) rejected my request, on the basis that I am a professional and the defamatory comments I complained about can be viewed as a professional disagreement. (The cyberbullies were not researchers in the field, nor bothered about accuracy and good science, so I find that argument hard to follow). The main message is thus that having a PhD or being a physician means you are a public figure and therefore any attacks on your competence are 'work-related' and the links are in the public interest. As I see it, we are excluded from the European court ruling.

Competing interests: My request for removal of links was rejected.

29 January 2015
Ellen Goudsmit
Health Psychologist (retired).