Monday, April 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

A right to be forgotten?

Like it or not, this is Google's world now. We live in an age of Web caches, where it's getting tougher and tougher to keep our pasts to ourselves. But this lawsuit out of Spain asks "Do we have a right to be forgotten?"

A right to be forgotten?

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Google again finds itself at the center of a debate over privacy vs. the freedom of information

Like it or not, this is Google's world now. We live in an age of Web caches, where it's getting tougher and tougher to keep our pasts to ourselves. But this lawsuit out of Spain asks "Do we have a right to be forgotten?"

Whether it's a harmless tweet or a private bank account number you accidently shared, it's difficult to make information truly go away once it gets online. That is, unless the courts get involved.

About 90 Spanish citizens filed complaints with the country's Data Protection Agency, asking Spain to force Google to remove certain data from its database. The agency ordered Google to stop indexing information for these citizens, and the case is now in court.

The New York Times reports that the answer to this privacy question might be different depending on which side of the Atlantic Ocean you're on. Look for the European Union to release "right to be forgotten" regulations this fall, which will likely stress privacy over the freedom of information – a shift away from American legal trends.

About this blog
Chris Mondics covers legal affairs for The Inquirer as a member of the business news staff. Before joining the business department in April 2007, he was a Washington correspondent for The Inquirer, covering the impeachment of President Clinton, the collapse of Enron and Arthur Andersen, the 9/11 attacks and the 9/11 Commission investigation. Before his Washington bureau assignment, Mondics was The Inquirer’s bureau chief in Trenton, covering Gov. Christie Whitman and New Jersey politics. E-mail Chris here.

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