User login

Join The Debate

Cast your vote and join the conversation.

Membership is free.

Get Started

Warning message

The subscription service is currently unavailable. Please try again later.

The U.S. Should Adopt the 'Right to Be Forgotten' Online

The BriefGet Up To Speed

In 2014, the European Union'€™s Court of Justice determined that individuals have a right to be forgotten, '€œthe right'€”under certain conditions'€”to ask search engines to remove links with personal information about them.'€ It is not absolute, but meant to be balanced against other fundamental rights, like freedom of expression. In a half year following the Court'€™s decision, Google received over 180,000 removal requests. Of those reviewed and processed, 40.5% were granted. Largely seen as a victory in Europe, in the U.S., the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative. Was this ruling a blow to free speech and public information, or a win for privacy and human dignity?


A ruling by the European Union's highest court last week ordering Google to provide people with the right to be forgotten has generated fiercely divergent responses in the US and Europe. Germans are celebrating the decision, which buttresses privacy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Spiegel Staff

Well before the decision in Europe, Google would take down links to stolen credit card numbers and bank account records. And, of course, if a person in the United States asked Google to remove the link, Google would do so for all Internet domains, not just those in the U.S.

Thursday, January 22, 2015
Marc Rotenberg

A growing number of academics say the ruling could help make the internet more harmonious than it is today.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Julia Powles
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
John Hendel

No search result is a passive reproduction of data form a “public domain.” Google makes the public domain public. Search underpins a massive profit-making machine.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Steve Wilson

It’s hard to imagine that the Internet that results will be as free and open as it is now.

Monday, February 13, 2012
Jeffrey Rosen

If European regulators get their way, Internet companies would be left in the awkward position of determining when government requests to censor information universally are legitimate and when it is not. No business should have that power.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Editorial Board

The real problem is the impossibility of an accountable, transparent, and effective censorship regime in the digital age, and the inevitable collateral damage borne of any attempt to create one, even from the best intentions.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Danny O’Brien and Jillian York

The EU action is arguably a de facto censorship of the press.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Danny Sullivan

A recent judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) leads to results which are misguided in principle and unworkable in practice, says the House of Lords EU Home Affairs, Health and Education Sub-Committee in its report.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
House of Lords

We explain the European court of justice ruling saying that Google will have to delete some information from its index – and why it has divided opinion.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Charles Arthur

In Europe, the right to be forgotten trumps the Internet.

Monday, September 29, 2014
Jeffrey Toobin

Discussion about the potentially game changing legal decision from Europe about Google and online privacy.

Friday, May 15, 2015
Jeffrey Rosen
EU Commission

On 13 May 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a landmark ruling on the 'right to be forgotten', in relation to online search engines. Details on the Court ruling, the facts of the case, and how it affects citizens.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

Debunking 6 myths about the right to be forgotten.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

Press releases, factsheets and public opinion surveys.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Article 29 Working Party

Privacy watchdogs in the European Union issued guidelines on Wednesday calling on the company to apply the recent “right to be forgotten” ruling to Google’s entire search empire.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Mark Scott

This Working Party was set up under Article 29 of Directive 95/46/EC. It is an independent European advisory body on data protection and privacy. It has advisory status and acts independently.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

Europe must make its voice heard in terms of ensuring that fundamental rights, including the rights to privacy and data protection, are respected without obstructing innovation or the need to ensure security in our society. In this context, the independent Data Protection Authorities assembled in the EU Article 29 Working Party (WP29) want to deliver several key messages on how to address this global challenge.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Article 29 Data Protection Working Party

Interpretation of the CJEU judgment and a list of common criteria for the handling of complaints by European data protection authorities.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Article 29 Data Protection Working Party

After the European court ruling, we at Google want to encourage debate on where the public interest lies in restricting web searches.

Thursday, July 10, 2014
David Drummond

Data on removal requests from Google.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Transparency Report

Questions and answers.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Transparency Report

A panel of experts appointed by Google to advise it on a European court ruling ordering it to remove some personal information from search results is leaning toward limiting the application to European websites only.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Julia Fioretti

Google convened a council of experts to review input from dozens of experts in meetings across Europe, as well as from thousands of submissions via the Web. Read their report <a href=" target="_blank">here</a>.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Advisory Council
California’s Internet Eraser Law

The bill would, on and after January 1, 2015, require online service providers to allow minors to remove or request removal of content or information posted.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Emily Tabatabai and Shea Gordon Leich

Starting in 2015, any minor can request that a digital service provider delete pictures of themselves passed out drunk at a Justin Bieber concert. The law doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, since nearly every imaginable service offers a delete button.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Gregory Ferenstein

A new law called the ‘California Eraser,’ aims at protecting minors from themselves.

Friday, March 21, 2014
Lisette Guzman

Sixty-one percent of Americans believe some version of the right to be forgotten is necessary.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969