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Exploring the Right to Be Forgotten

September 16, 2014
12:00 pm (ET)

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In May, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that "the right to be forgotten" requires Google and other search engine operators in the European Union to erase search results made on the basis of a person's name that contain true, lawfully published information upon request when the information is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant." Since that time, Google has received requests to remove some 300,000 pages from its European search results, and legislators in Russia, Hong Kong, and elsewhere have proposed introducing the concept into domestic law. According to advocates of free expression, the Court's ruling allows individuals to rewrite their online history and gives search engines quasi-judicial powers to determine which information is visible to the public. This panel will examine the Google Spain decision and its implications for freedom of expression and privacy from a variety of perspectives.