David Levine questions “right to be forgotten” in Slate
In a July 22 Slate column, Elon Law Professor David S. Levine calls for deeper consideration of a new online "right to be forgotten" articulated by a European Union court in May.
The new concept of the “right to be forgotten,” Levine writes, “is an individual’s right to request that a search engine remove ‘inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive’ personal information from its search results. This right is balanced against ‘freedom of expression and of the media,’ and is examined on a ‘case-by-case’ basis.”
Levine points to the societal value of online information that individual content providers may wish to have removed from Internet search results, including recent social media posts that appear to implicate Ukranian separatists in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
“The ‘right to be forgotten’ implicates real-life concerns about what and how much information is available to governments, corporations, policymakers, and the public,” Levine writes. “This right is at the heart of our ongoing online privacy debates: How much information do we have to share with others, and how can we control what others know about us? But complete information, including that which one may prefer misplaced, is also about making good decisions.”
Levine's Slate article is among a series of contributions he has made to the online magazine.