Existing Citations

  • right to be forgotten : [Note: These citations are from a much longer article.] The "Right to be Forgotten" is a very successful political slogan. Like all successful political slogans, it is like a Rorschach test. People can see in it what they want. The debate would sound quite different if the slogan were actually something more descriptive, for example, the "right to delete". The European Commission has now proposed to make the "right to be forgotten" into a law. It's a big step to turn a vague political slogan into a law. ¶ What is the "right to be forgotten"? There is a spectrum of views. On one end of the spectrum, the "right to be forgotten" is simply viewed as a re-branding of long-standing data protection principles, in particular: the rights to access and rectify one's own personal data, the right to oppose processing of one's personal data in the absence of legitimate purposes, the principle of data minimization. On this end of the spectrum, people think that the "right to be forgotten" is nothing new; at most, it is simply an attempt to apply long-standing data protection principles to the new worlds of the Internet and modern technologies. I'm firmly in this school of thought. ¶ On the other end of the spectrum, the "right to be forgotten" is viewed more sweepingly as a new right to delete information about oneself, even if published by a third-party, even if the publication was legitimate and the content was true. This school of thought believes that people should have the right to force third-parties to delete content about them (photos, blogs, anything) that violates their sense of privacy, which in practice usually means their online reputations. (†546)