New legislation will give people right to force online traders and social media to delete personal data and will comply with EU data protection

People will get a new right to force social media companies and online traders to delete their personal data under laws to be brought forward by the government this summer. Matt Hancock, the minister for digital, said it would amount to a “right to be forgotten” by companies, which will no longer be able to get limitless use of people’s data simply through default “tick boxes” online.

Plans to give people the right to request a deletion of social media posts from their childhood were floated by Theresa May during the Conservatives’ election campaign and legislation was promised in the Queen’s speech. However, the measures appear to have been toughened since then, as the legislation will give people the right to have all their personal data deleted by companies, not just social media content relating to the time before they turned 18.

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