Thursday, 1 December 2016

The right to be forgotten versus the right to be remembered

"One country’s government shouldn’t determine what Internet users across the globe can see online. But a French regulator is saying that, under Europe’s `Right to be Forgotten,` Google should have to delist search results globally, keeping them from users across the world. That’s a step too far, and would conflict with the rights of users in other nations, including those protected by the laws and Constitution of the United States..."

"Europe’s `Right to be Forgotten` is also at odds with a broader right in other countries to publish information about official government activities, including information about things like arrest records, which have been at the center of high-profile Right to be Forgotten cases in Europe. Most U.S. states have recognized a Fair Report Privilege, which protects those who report accurately about government activity from legal claims, including invasion of privacy. That right is trampled on if companies like Google are forced to universally delist search results about government activities."

"These free speech rights apply when people in the U.S. use the Internet; neither the U.S. nor the French government should interfere with them. As our colleagues in our submission explain, France’s unilateral declaration of universal jurisdiction would impact rights in the rest of the world. If the CNIL decision stands when the Conseil d'Etat considers our appeal next spring, it would not just permit France’s rules to trump those of any other nation, it would also open the floodgates for every country to enforce its own limits on free expression and freedom to receive information globally. In that race to the bottom, everyone will lose."

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