Does Google’s ‘right to be forgotten’ challenge the right to freedom of expression?

I’d say Google’s ‘Right to be forgotten’ form truly is a breakthrough in the context of online privacy. I think the large number of people who applied to Google on the first day the service went live proves this: just over 12,000. However, MailOnline publisher Martin Clarke compares it with going into libraries and burning books you don’t like, but on a more serious note, some commentators argue the challenge will be to balance the right to freedom of expression with the right to be forgotten. With the intention of using it in the wrong way, the ‘right to be forgotten’ can be abused to curb freedom of expression and suppress legitimate journalism that’s in the public interest.

The BBC, The Guardian and The Daily Mail have received “notice of removal” emails from Google explaining several of their articles will no longer be findable on Google. None of these organisations have had either the right to appeal the decisions, or received explanations as to which articles were blocked. Opposing that though, is the fact that the links will only be removed from European Google searches. You’ll still be able to find them on non-European Google sites as well as on other search engines such as Yahoo. Ultimately, the question is- why would you come up with the right to be forgotten if you can’t exercise that right worldwide?

#the #right #to #be #forgotten #affects #business



Furnell, S., & Phippen, A. (2012). Elsevier Ltd. Computer Fraud & Security. Online privacy: a matter of policy? vol. 2012 issue 8, pp. 12-18. Retrieved from:

Google Inc. (2014). Search removal request under European Data Protection law. Retrieved from:

Oozeer, A. (2014). Commonwealth Law Bulletin. Internet and social networks: freedom of expression in the digital age, vol. 40 issue 2, pp. 341-360. Retrieved from:

Powell, R. (2014). The Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Right to be forgotten’: BBC, The Guardian, Daily Mail push back on Google. Retrieved from:


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