Lyndsay Cook


This comment examines a case referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“EU”) on “a Spanish citizen’s complaint against Google Spain and Google Inc.. arguing that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results, violated his privacy rights because the repossession proceeding had been resolved long ago, and was no longer relevant. The EU court was asked to decide whether an individual has the right to request that his or her personal data be removed from accessibility via a search engine (‘the right to be forgotten’). In a landmark decision, the EU court held that Internet search engines must remove personal information associated with an individual when the information is ‘inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive.’ [T]he new ‘right to be forgotten’ provides a remedy for individuals seeking to have harmful or embarrassing details about themselves removed from the Internet, when certain criteria are met. The right to be forgotten represents a positive shift in cyberspace law and policy because it increases individuals’ control over personal information and restores the balance between free speech and privacy in the digital world. The author of this comment believes the United States should follow the lead of the European Union and adopt the policy for the following reasons; the right to be forgotten: (1) promotes privacy and autonomy; (2) provides much-needed remedy to victims of cyber harassment; and (3) prevents discriminatory hiring practices based upon irrelevant information.”