This Country Has a Law That Will Let You Permanently Delete Your Internet History

No one ever has to know about that serious denim phase you went through in high school.

Jolypics/ShutterstockWhat happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what happens on the Internet is truly inescapable and will eternally be documented. These statements of permanence and non-permanence are polar and immovable—unless you live in the United Kingdom.

The new Data Protection Bill aims to allow U.K. citizens the right to scrub certain segments of their Internet history from the record. The bill comes from the U.K.’s conservative party, which is pitching the legislation with a specific focus on underage rights. (For the rest of us, make sure to follow these ways to protect yourself online.)

The Bill, if passed, would give Internet users the right to have social media sites like Twitter and Facebook completely erase any data before they were the age of 18. The Bill claims this ability is key to a citizen’s “right to innocence” and “right to be forgotten.”

Dafinka/Shutterstock(We knew social media might have some downsides. But also some upsides!)

This law is not without precedent in the U.K., however. In 1998, the Data Protection Act sought to give Internet users similar striking rights, but back then the Internet was a much different beast, and the amount of personal data readily available at anyone’s fingertips was much tinier. Internet users might know less than they think–this is what “URL” actually stands for.

Now, back to Vegas. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas—if it was documented on social media by someone from the U.K. before adulthood. Feel free to borrow that motto, Las Vegas Tourism board.

Know the ins and outs of your online security–your “private” browser may not be so private. 


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