EU Proposes 'Right To Be Forgotten' Online, In Contradiction With Free Speech Concepts

from the which-is-more-important? dept

As a bunch of folks have sent in, there's a proposal making the rounds in the EU for a "right to be forgotten," which would require websites to delete all information about a person at their request. We've actually seen something like this in the past, in Germany, where last year we noted that a convicted German murderer, was using such a law to demand details of his conviction be removed from various websites. It's not difficult to recognize how problematic this concept can be. As Adam Thierer notes, a "right to be forgotten," is a clear restriction on free speech.

Now, some might claim that this is a point where free speech and privacy rights clash, but I'm not sure I actually agree with that. In fact, I'd argue that a "right to be forgotten" is not really a "privacy" right in the first place. A privacy right should only concern information that is actually private. What a "right to be forgotten" does is try to take information that is, by default, public information, and pretend that it's private. That's a very different situation, and one that clearly conflicts with free speech concepts.

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  1. icon
    DanVan (profile), 6 Nov 2010 @ 11:57am

    I don't have much of a problem with this thought as some stuff put online is disgusting, not true, and can in fact hurt people for jobs and their lives in general

    I am not someone who wants everything and anything to just be allowed

    I have something about me put online that DOES come up with a google search and DID hurt me looking for a job as someone asked me about it. I have done my best getting it deleted but no luck so far. BTW, it is not even remotely true

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