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17 Feb 2023

David Pegg, The Guardian

The Spanish firm that uses dubious methods to ‘erase your past’ from the internet

"The Spanish firm that uses dubious methods to ‘erase your past’ from the internet", 17 February 2023

"We erase your past" declares the company’s tagline. Eliminalia, which has offices in several cities including Barcelona and Kyiv, is part of a growing industry that will clean up your online profile.

Officially the company performs “a deep search across the internet for all information – whether it be an article, a blog, social media posts or even a mistaken identity”. It then endeavours, on behalf of its clients, to get any negative information removed.

The Guardian, however, found that over several years, the company deployed unethical or deceptive methods to scrub unwanted and damaging content from the internet.

Eliminalia’s services are revealed in a cache of 50,000 internal files that show how the company worked for a host of clients around the world. Many were individuals simply wanting an embarrassing or traumatic incident in their past to cease haunting them online.

But the firm’s clients also included those accused or convicted of criminal offences, including drug smugglers, fraudsters, petty criminals and at least one sex offender.

Eliminalia did not respond in detail to repeated requests for comment. Its lawyers said: "The orientation and content of the vast majority of the questions demonstrate a partial and dishonourable approach."

Earlier this year, Eliminalia – which promises it can eliminate the past so “you can rebuild your future” – seemed to have an identity shift, changing its name to iData Protection in official registers."