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The Right to be Forgotten- A Fight for Information Reclamation Case Study No. 3Prepared by: Jasleen Samra 10/30/2019
The case study discussed this week, The Right to be Forgotten: Europe Leads on Internet Privacy, touches on the very crucial discussion of individuals’ right to their own privacy on the Internet, including the "right to be forgotten" (alsoknown as RTBF). In June 2014, the highest court in Europe, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), came to a decision on a 2010 lawsuit introduced by a man who’s past financial circumstances had been linked with his name when conducting Google searches. The individual argued that the information was no longer pertinent, and that the linkage being created by Google was causing potential harm to his law business. Although this man was unable to get his information removed because he didn’t meet the set qualifications, the decision made by the CJEU set a precedent for individual’s having power and control over their personal information being on the Internet, particularly in cases where the “claims are inappropriate, inaccurate, no longer relevant, and interfere with their privacy” (Laudon, 2018). Furthermore, it is notable to mention that the protections and RTBF were not absolute - there are other things to take into consideration such as freedom of expression/press and what is in the public’s best interest. It is for this reason that the aforementioned individual that initially started the lawsuit didn’t have his own information taken down although this landmark case has shifted the approach to Internet privacy in Europe and, possibly soon, the rest of the world. This caveat is very important because it prevents sex offenders/convicted criminals from hiding public records of their crimes, and can enforce transparency from public figures.