Guidelines 05/2019 on criteria of the Right to be Forgotten in search engines
Exception 3: Reasons of public interest in the area of public health
73. This exemption is a specific case based on the fact that processing is necessary for the performance of a public interest.
74. In this case, the public interest is limited to the area of public health, but, as with the public interest in any other area, the lawful basis for the processing must be established in Union law or Member State law.
75. From the point of view of the application of this exemption in the context of the activity of the search engine provider, the same conclusions as stated above can be reached. It does not seem likely that the law of a Member State or of the Union can establish a relationship between the activity of the search engine provider and the maintenance of information or of a category of information in the results of the search engine provider with the achievement of purposes of public interest in respect of public health.
76. This conclusion is more evident if one takes into account that the effect of delisting is only that some results are deleted from the results page that is obtained when mainly a name is entered as a search criterion. But the information is not deleted from the search engine providers’ indexes and can be retrieved using other search terms.
77. It is, therefore, difficult to imagine that keeping those results visible when searches are mainly made on the basis of a data subject’s name can be considered, in general, as something necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health.
78. The criteria on the applicability of national standards and the identification of the Supervisory Authority that must deal with possible claims in a case relating to Article 17 GDPR that was rejected using this exemption have been discussed above.