The “Right to be Forgotten” Rulings and their Implications

11 November 2015 - A Workshop on Other in João Pessoa, Brazil


This workshop discusses the legal, technical, and societal implications of “Right to Be Forgotten” decisions, in the EU and elsewhere (e.g. Brazil) for internet design, access, and use. This workshop focuses on the procedural and legal implications of such rulings. It is part of a cross-workshop collaboration with Workshop 142 which looks more closely at some case-studies of "Right to Be Forgotten" rulings around the world. 

In this workshop participants address challenges arising from terminology, implementation, and due process for the; 
(1) legal (in)applicability within and beyond jurisdictions; 
(2) commercial and technical challenges of implementation; 
(3) societal implications for the public interest when deleting/delinking/delisting hyperlinked online content. 

The human rights implications of implementation include freedom of expression, right to access to information, privacy and personal data, and accountability. Specific questions addressed include: - Terminology: is the ruling on an existing or emergent right? Which term is appropriate: “forgotten”, “delinking”, “deletion”, or “delisting”? 
- Who decides, in what context and by what process e.g. a judge or service provider? 
- What content, and which actors gain, or lose from such rulings? Do these decisions account for overlaps between public/private figures and their public/private lives? 
- Technical issues: e.g. limits to deletion, delinking for data-retention policies, ownership and control of data-logs, how de/linking capabilities can be misused. 
- sociocultural issues within and across jurisdiction e.g. limits in application so as not to harm access to information, distort historical record, or obstruct efforts to obtain accountability for past human rights violations.

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