The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled that European citizens have the “right to be forgotten” online. This essentially means search engines, such as Google, are required to remove links to content that is outdated or no longer relevant when it’s requested.
Opinions on the idea of a legal right to be forgotten vary wildly. Some consider it a step in the right direction for privacy, while others argue it’s at odds with the freedom of expression. And now we want to know what you personally think of this idea.
Who Are You Again?
We want to know, Do You Want The Right To Be Forgotten? While this is a ruling only covering Europe, if it proves to be both technically possible and of use to ordinary citizens, then it could spread to the rest of the world. So please, wherever you are based, feel free to take part in the discussion.
To understand more fully what the right to be forgotten is and isn’t, you should read our Tech News Digest coverage of it. Or watch Technophilia 113, where the subject was discussed openly.
It was during this episode of the MakeUseOf podcast that a difference of opinion between Americans and Europeans was revealed; the Americans argued that freedom of speech trumped everything, while the Europeans condoned at least some right to privacy. Do your personal feelings lend weight to this trend?
The full implications of this ECJ ruling are yet to be understood. However, Google is known to be working on a tool for easily managing these requests for the right to be forgotten, and every day brings news of new requests flooding in.
The Spanish man who is the subject of the ruling wants the foreclosure notice on a previous home to be removed from searches. BBC News reports on other requests from an “ex-politician seeking re-election,” a “man convicted of possessing child abuse images,” and a doctor who received “negative reviews from patients.”
You may be sympathetic to some of these people, and not others. So, do you support the right to be forgotten? Should it apply to everybody, or be judged on a case-by-case basis? Can you see yourself ever using such a law to protect your reputation? Let us know exactly what you think of the right to be forgotten in the comments section below.
Have Your Say
All comments will be read and most will be replied to, before a follow-up post is published containing the We Ask You Results. One reader will even win Comment Of The Week, which will be included in the follow-up post!
We Ask You is a column dedicated to learning the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.
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