15 November 2012

Forgotten

'The Right to Be Forgotten in the Internet Era' (ICRI Research Paper No. 11, 2012) by Hans Graux, Jef Ausloos & Peggy Valcke comments
Especially after its appearance in the European Commission's recent proposal for a new Data Protection Regulation, the 'right to be forgotten' has provoked quite some criticism. Much of the opponents, however, seem uninformed on the actual scope and meaning of the proposed provision. Additionally, the concept is often confused with the much older 'droit a l'oubli', which finds its rationale in the protection of privacy as a fundamental human right. This text starts by giving an overview of the more traditional droit a l'oubli and how it is applied throughout Europe. Subsequently, the more modern 'right to be forgotten' is analyzed from a normative, market, technological and legal perspective. Finally, this text makes a thorough and critical analysis of the current proposal. Despite its laudable goal, some deficiencies should be resolved. But, in general, the right seems to restore the power balance by giving (back) effective control to individuals over their personal data.