9 Reasons Why a ‘Right to be Forgotten’ is Really Wrong

viviane-reding2By Joris van Hoboken

The European Commission draft proposal for a data protection regulation contains the so-called right to be forgotten in Article 15. This is not a surprise but the way it has been drafted is quite terrible as I will try to explain below.

Commissioner Viviane Reding made a right to be forgotten into one of the central themes of the privacy directive’s review of the last two years and her plans to modernize the existing legal framework for the processing of personal data in the EU. While there are some valuable improvements to the existing data protection rules in the EC’s concept proposal, this right to be forgotten is amongst the worst legal inventions I have ever encountered. Below I first shortly discuss the proposal and give 9 reasons why it is really wrong and why it should be abolished.

The basic principle of the ‘right to be forgotten’ is that data subjects can ask for deletion of personal data. This right to be forgotten is an extension of the existing right of erasure with regard to personal data processing in Article 12 of the Privacy Directive, and specifically targets personal data which have been made public, such as the name or picture of a natural person on a discussion forum. It also extends to links to publications containing personal data, for instance in search engines. Read the full article and why this proposal is a bad idea on Joris van Hoboken’s blog here.

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