Reconsidering the 'Right to Be Forgotten' - Memory Rights and the Right to Memory in the New Media Era
25 Pages Posted: 2 May 2015 Last revised: 4 Aug 2015
Date Written: April 30, 2015
On May 13th, 2014 the Court of Justice of the European Union established officially what has been widely referred to since as “the right to be forgotten” (RTBF). This study, after analyzing the right itself and discussing its legal origins, and through claiming that the RTBF’s is actually about the control of one’s pubic narrative, as well as public representation of its life stories, in the digital era approaches the right to be forgotten from a memory driven perspective. While commentators about the right to be forgotten tend to focus on the clash between privacy rights and expression rights of “data subject”, this study will focus on the right’s influence on the right of the “storytelling subjects.” From this new perspective, this study criticize the right to be forgotten due to its emphasis on forgetting – as memory is always about both forgetting and remembering; and due to the fact that only individuals can materialize the right – while in fact memory is a phenomenon shared by both individuals and collectives. Eventually, this study uses the opportunity created by the establishment of the right to be forgotten – the creation of a new discourse connecting between memory and rights – and suggests replacing it with a larger right – a right to memory – that includes both remembering, forgetting, being remembered and being forgotten, and enables both individuals and collectives to enjoy it’s protection.
Keywords: Collective memory, Right to Be Forgotten, Data Subject
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