Seeking Digital Redemption: The Future of Forgiveness in the Internet Age

65 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2012 Last revised: 22 Aug 2014

See all articles by Meg Leta Jones

Meg Leta Jones

Georgetown University - Communication, Culture, and Technology

Nicole Friess

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jill Van Matre

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

The Right to be Forgotten, a controversial privacy right that allows users to make information about themselves less accessible after a period of time, is hailed as a pillar of information privacy in some countries while condemned as censorship in others. Psychological and behavioral research indicates that one’s capacity to forget features of the past — or remember them in a different way — is deeply connected to his or her power to forgive others and move on, which in turn, has dramatic impacts on well-being. Second chances and the reinvention of self are deeply intertwined with American history and culture. Yet the possibility of a shared perpetual memory stored on and accessible through the Internet threatens to make it impossible to forget even the most insignificant transgression. This article examines whether the march of technological progress should retire notions of forgiveness as a social value, or if the privacy rights of individuals should include the ability to move on and afford second chances after information about them has been available for a certain amount of time. By analyzing a variety of well-established U.S. laws that provide for forgiveness, this article proposes a framework for crafting a response to the forgiveness void of the Internet Age within the U.S. legal system.

Keywords: right to be forgotten, information privacy, forgiveness, information access

Suggested Citation

Jones, Meg and Friess, Nicole and Van Matre, Jill, Seeking Digital Redemption: The Future of Forgiveness in the Internet Age (2012). Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal, Vol. 29, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2154365

Meg Jones (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Communication, Culture, and Technology ( email )

3520 Prospect St NW
Suite 311
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Nicole Friess

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jill Van Matre

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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