The Economics of the Right to Be Forgotten

35 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2015 Last revised: 29 Oct 2017

See all articles by Byung-Cheol Kim

Byung-Cheol Kim

University of Alabama

Jin Yeub Kim

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 30, 2015

Abstract

Scholars and practitioners debate whether to expand the scope of the right to be forgotten—the right to have certain links removed from search results—to encompass global search results. The debate centers on the assumption that the expansion will increase the incidence of link removal, which reinforces privacy while hampering free speech. We develop a game-theoretic model to show that the expansion of the right to be forgotten can reduce the incidence of link removal. We also show that the expansion does not necessarily enhance the welfare of individuals who request removal and that it can either improve or reduce societal welfare. Our analysis has implications for understanding the impact of the global expansion of the right to be forgotten on privacy and free speech.

Keywords: right to be forgotten, privacy, search engine, litigation

JEL Classification: C72, D82, K20, K41, L86

Suggested Citation

Kim, Byung-Cheol and Kim, Jin Yeub, The Economics of the Right to Be Forgotten (September 30, 2015). Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 60, No. 2, 2017; NET Institute Working Paper No. 15-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2672007 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2672007

Byung-Cheol Kim (Contact Author)

University of Alabama ( email )

Culverhouse College of Business
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0223
United States
7708462727 (Phone)
7708462727 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/byungcheolkim76/

Jin Yeub Kim

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Department of Economics ( email )

Lincoln, NE 68588-0489
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/jinyeubkim

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