The Right to Be Forgotten: Memory Holes as the Default?

Amsterdam Privacy Conference 2018 (Oct. 5-8), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

15 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2018

See all articles by George Bouchagiar

George Bouchagiar

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

Maria Canellopoulou-Bottis

Information Law, DALMS, Ionian University

Date Written: June 5, 2018

Abstract

The right to be forgotten has become a hotly debated topic on both sides of the Atlantic. Some see it as a threat to free speech, while others question whether it is a right to erasure or another version of the French droit à l' oubli. Many scholars relate it to subject’s control over her data and some see it as a right to identity. Unable to figure out whether it is about forgetting or being forgotten, some authors have even accused the European legislator of “foggy thinking”. Given our modern digital lives, during which everything can be posted online, one could argue that exercising such a right would be problematic. This paper balances the right to be forgotten with the fundamental right to freedom of expression and freedom to conduct a business. Furthermore, it examines controversies between the European right to erasure and the First Amendment theoretical framework. However, it observes that certain versions of the right to erasure do exist in US laws. In addition, it provides some statistics with regard to requests addressed by individuals after the famous Google decision. Finally, it studies arguments for and against the right to erasure to draw attention to the need for re-shaping the concept of privacy in today’s information societies.

Keywords: right to erasure, right to be forgotten, freedom of expression, data protection, privacy

Suggested Citation

Bouchagiar, George and Canellopoulou-Bottis, Maria, The Right to Be Forgotten: Memory Holes as the Default? (June 5, 2018). Amsterdam Privacy Conference 2018 (Oct. 5-8), Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3226404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3226404

George Bouchagiar (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Maria Canellopoulou-Bottis

Information Law, DALMS, Ionian University ( email )

7, Rizospaston Voulefton av.
49100 Corfu
Greece

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