Archive for August 7th, 2014

August 7, 2014

Right To Be Forgotten


Memory Hole

The right to be forgotten is a nascent legal concept arising from the need to ‘determine the development of [one’s] life in an autonomous way, without being perpetually or periodically stigmatized as a consequence of a specific action performed in the past.’ France law began recognizing this new right in 2010. Critics claim the laws are vague, unenforceable, and potentially a threat to open access to information, which is an existing legal right in many countries. There are also concerns about its interaction with the right to privacy and whether it would decrease the quality of the Internet through censorship and a rewriting of history.

Many nations have very strong domestic freedom of speech laws, which would be challenging to reconcile with the right to be forgotten. Some academics see that only a limited form of the right to be forgotten would be reconcilable with US constitutional law; the right of an individual to delete data that he or she has personally submitted. In this limited form, individuals could not have material removed that has been uploaded by others, as demanding the removal of information could constitute censorship and a reduction in the freedom of expression.

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