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Right to Erasure

Art. 17 of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay and the controller shall have the obligation to erase personal data without undue delay….”

Someone may decide that, for whatever reason, they believe the University is processing data about them that they don’t want us to, or that that think we shouldn’t be. GDPR provides the right to ask the University to delete personal data in some circumstances. 

This ‘right to be forgotten’ as it’s also known, is not an absolute right, meaning that it might not be possible or required in all situations.

The right to erasure does not provide an absolute right to have data erased. Under the GDPR, data subjects have the right to have their data erased in the following situations:

  1. the personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally collected;
  2. the processing is based on consent and this consent is withdrawn (and there is no other legal ground for the processing);  
  3. the data subject objects to the processing and there are no overriding legitimate grounds for the processing;
  4. the personal data was unlawfully collected;
  5. the personal data has to be erased in order to comply with a legal obligation; and
Under the GDPR, the right to erasure exists if one or more of the limitative grounds above apply.

The University can refuse to comply with a request for erasure where the personal data is processed for the following reasons:

  • to exercise the right of freedom of expression and information;

  • to comply with a legal obligation for the performance of a public interest task or exercise of official authority.

  • for public health purposes in the public interest;

  • archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific research historical research or statistical purposes; or

  • the exercise or defence of legal claims.

Without any undue delay and certainly no longer than a month from the date of request.

Can timescale be extended?


Yes – if the request is complicated, we can extend for a further two months, but we will let you know if this is the case within the original timescale

Is there a fee?



If the University fails to provide a response to your satisfaction, you should raise complaint with the University Data Protection Officer

If you remain dissatisfied, you may request the ICO to undertake the judicial review:

  • If the ICO does not agree with the University, this may result in us being instructed to make the rectification as originally requested, either in full or in part. We will do this within one month of the ICO notifying us.
  • If the ICO agrees with the University, the note will remain on your account but no further action will be taken and no changes will be made to the data.

You may submit a request for erasure to any member of staff in a number of different ways, including via telephone or in person, but for it to be considered a valid request, it must be clear what data you are requesting


We would encourage you to submit a request in writing wherever possible as this will be as much for your own befit as ours, as it will:


  • Provide a clear audit trail as to when you submitted your request.
  • Ensure that both you and the University have a clear record of what you have requested.

Requests should clearly state what data you are requesting to be erased along with why you believe it should be erased. If it is unclear what you are requesting, you will be asked to clarify.


Requests can also be submitted to the University Data Protection Officer:


T:  +44 (0)191 243 7357


P: Vice-Chancellor’s Office, Legal Services Team, Northumbria University,  Ground Floor, Pandon Building, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST

To make sure that someone doesn’t request us to erase your data illegally, we will ask for proof of your identity. Acceptable proof of identity shall be any of:


  • A copy of Photographic ID such as passport, driving licence or Student ID
  • Birth Certificate.
  • Two utility bills or bank statements (with redacted transactions) containing a full address of less than 3 month sold.


Please note that originals are not required, but can be scanned and sent in via email or they will be copied if presented in person.

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