Search Engines and the Right to Be Forgotten: Squaring the Remedy with Canadian Values on Personal Information Flow
55:2 Osgoode Hall Law Journal (2018 Forthcoming)
56 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2017 Last revised: 19 Jul 2018
Date Written: January 28, 2017
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) recently proposed that Canada's private sector privacy legislation should apply in modified form to search engines. The European Union has required search engines to comply with its private sector data protection regime since the much debated case regarding Google Spain in 2014. The EU and Canadian data protection authorities characterize search engines as commercial business ventures that collect, process, and package information, regardless of the public nature of their sources. Yet both also acknowledge that search engines serve important public interests by facilitating users' finding relevant information. This article considers what a specifically Canadian right to be forgotten might look like, when seen as an opportunity to re-balance the values at stake in information flow. It aims to bring Canada's existing legacy of balancing important values and interests regarding privacy and access to information to bear on our current information environment.
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