This story is from the 2015 Access 25. Explore more from this issue

The Right to Be Forgotten

Anyone is a Google search away? Not so fast, say courts on two separate continents.

January 2015


Last year, a Brazilian court granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting Apple and Google from distributing the clandestine info-sharing app Secret on their platforms. Secret allows users to exchange messages anonymously within circles of friends or publicly. This on the heels of a ruling by the European Court of Justice, which ordered Google to delete links to outdated information about a Spanish national who argued the information was no longer accurate.

Where does the boundary lie between privacy rights and freedom of expression? These rulings have escalated a debate that shows no signs of stopping. Is there any such thing as a “right to be forgotten” in a world of digital archives? And if so, who determines what and how digital information is “forgotten”?

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