Jeffrey Rosen (2012) The Right to Be Forgotten, Stanford Law Review February 13, 2012
At the end of January, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, announced the European Commission’s proposal to create a sweeping new privacy right—the “right to be forgotten.” Although Reding depicted the new right as a modest expansion of existing data privacy rights, in fact it represents the biggest threat to free speech on the Internet in the coming decade. The right to be forgotten could make Facebook and Google, for example, liable for up to two percent of their global income if they fail to remove photos that people post about themselves and later regret, even if the photos have been widely distributed already. Unless the right is defined more precisely when it is promulgated over the next year or so, it could precipitate a dramatic clash between European and American conceptions of the proper balance between privacy and free speech, leading to a far less open Internet.
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