The so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ has been a subject of much debate on both sides of the Atlantic since Commissioner Viviane Reding announced her intention to introduce it in 2010. What is seen by those proposing it on the European side to be a simple and logical extension of existing data protection principles is presented in the US as ‘the biggest threat to free speech on the internet in the current decade’. Both sides see themselves as protecting the rights of the ordinary people—the EU in the face of the potentially overwhelming power of the corporate internet behemoths, the US in the face of the excessive and controlling zeal of the European regulators.
- Personal Data
- European Regulator
- Data Protection
- Social Networking Site
- Free Speech
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The Proposed Data Protection Regulation, dated 25/1/2012 is available online at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/document/review2012/com_2012_11_en.pdf.
Proposed Data Protection Regulation, Article 17.
Data Protection Directive (“DPD”) (Directive 95/46/EC), downloadable from http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31995L0046:en:HTML, Article 6.1(b).
DPD Article 6.1 (e).
DPD Article 14.
DPD Article 6.1 (a).
As suggested, for example, in Bernal (2011).
For more on the origins of the right in the French le droit à l’oubli and the Italian diritto al’ oblio see ibid., Sect. 1.1.
The speech can be accessed online here: http://www.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/webdav/site/mySite/shared/Documents/EDPS/Publications/Speeches/2012/12-06-12_Speech_Oxford_EN.pdf.
The ‘e-Privacy Directive’ (Directive 2002/58/EC), as modified by Directive 2009/136/EC, available online: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:2002L0058:20091219:EN:PDF.
The UK’s Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, joined the criticism, suggesting the directive was ‘dreamed up by politicians in Brussels’ without the appropriate market research to back it up. See http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/security/3381464/information-commissioner-criticises-dreamed-up-eu-cookie-directive/.
Proposed Data Protection Regulation Article 80 (1). See also Sect. 3 below.
See for example http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/13/us/13wiki.html.
Proposed Data Protection Regulation, Article 4(2).
One of the ways that Rosen’s article has been publicised: see https://www.privacyassociation.org/publications/2012_02_14_rosen_the_right_to_be_forgotten_could_close_the_internet.
CTB v News Group Newspapers  EWHC 1232 (QB).
Ferdinand v Mirror Group Newspapers  EWHC 2454 (QB).
John Terry (“LNS”) v Persons Unknown  EWHC 119 (QB).
Proposed Data Protection Regulation, recital 121.
Proposed Data Protection Regulation Article 17(2).
Bambauer (forthcoming 2014).
Ibid. p. 62.
Bell and Gemmell (2009).
Bambauer’s stance on the right to be forgotten can to an extent be gauged by the headline to the piece she wrote for Harvard’s Info/Law blog noted above: ‘More crap from the EU’.
It is already a legal right in a number of countries including Costa Rica, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece and Spain and has gained significant support.
Proposed Data Protection Regulation Article 3.
Sanctions are detailed in Proposed Data Protection Regulation Article 79. Overall fines are envisaged as up to 2 % of annual worldwide turnover for some data protection breaches, and up to 1 % of annual worldwide turnover in relation to the right to be forgotten and erasure (Article 79 (5)).
The ‘Europe vs. Facebook’ campaign, whose website is http://europe-v-facebook.org/EN/en.html.
Set out in Article 18 of the proposed Data Protection Regulation, the article immediately following the Right to be Forgotten and Erasure.
Golan, et al., v. Holder (Attorney General), et al. 565 U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 873 (online at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-545.pdf).
E.g. in October 2012, European regulators challenged Google’s amalgamation of privacy policies. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19959306.
See for example http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10036090-83.html.
Bell, C. G., and J. Gemmell. 2009. Total recall: How the E-memory revolution will change everything. New York: Dutton.
Bernal, Paul. 2011. A right to delete? European Journal of Law and Technology Vol. 2, No. 2. http://ejlt.org//article/view/75/144.
Bambauer, Jane. (forthcoming 2014). Is Data Speech? 66 Stan. L. Rev.
Brin, David. 1998. The transparent society: Will technology force us to choose between privacy and freedom? Reading: Addison-Wesley.
Haynes Stuart, Allyson. 2013. Search results—Buried if not forgotten, paper presented at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference, Berkeley, June 2013.
Hoven, Michael. 2012. Balancing privacy and speech in the right to be forgotten, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology 2012. http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/digest/privacy/balancing-privacy-and-speech-in-the-right-to-be-forgotten.
Rosen, Jeffrey. 2012. The right to be forgotten, Stanford Law Review Online. http://www.stanfordlawreview.org/online/privacy-paradox/right-to-be-forgotten.
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Bernal, P. (2014). The EU, the US and Right to be Forgotten. In: Gutwirth, S., Leenes, R., De Hert, P. (eds) Reloading Data Protection. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7540-4_4
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