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Data Protection and the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in Practice: A UK Perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2017

Abstract

We are in an uncertain and complex period for data protection and privacy in Europe, and especially so in the UK, following the result of the ‘Brexit’ referendum on 23 June 2016. Information law, and data protection in particular, are of increasing concern for those in the business of knowledge sharing and information dissemination: media organizations, academic institutions and libraries. The notion of the ‘right to be forgotten’ is particularly troublesome, as lawyers, archivists, historians and philosophers grapple with the theoretical and practical implications. This article presents a selection of recent European and British policy and legal developments, and discusses how they are changing social practice and citizens’ engagement with information rights.

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2017 

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References

1 As part of doctoral research at the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism at City University London.

2 Townend, Judith. 2013. ‘Closed Data: Defamation and Privacy Disputes in England and Wales’. Journal of Media Law 5 (1): 3144 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. doi:10.5235/17577632.5.1.31.

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7 For a copy of the original statement see Baines, Jonathan. 2016. ‘An Adequate Response to Brexit?’ Informationrightsandwrongs. July 28. https://informationrightsandwrongs.com/2016/07/28/an-adequate-response-to-brexit/.

9 Neville-Rolfe, Lucy. 2016. ‘The EU Data Protection Package: The UK Government's Perspective’. Gov.uk. July 4Google Scholar. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-eu-data-protection-package-the-uk-governments-perspective.

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11 Wood, Steve. 2016. ‘GDPR Still Relevant for the UK’. ICO Blog. July 7. https://iconewsblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/gdpr-still-relevant-for-the-uk/.

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14 Google Spain SL, Google Inc.  v  Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD),  Mario Costeja González. 2016, Case C-131/12. CJEU Grand Chamber.

15 Google Spain SL,  Google Inc.  v  Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD),  Mario Costeja González. 2016, Case C-131/12. CJEU Grand Chamber. para 93.

16 Google Spain SL,  Google Inc.  v  Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD),  Mario Costeja González. 2016, Case C-131/12. CJEU Grand Chamber. para 85.

17 See, for example: Hume, Mick. 2015. ‘The EU Is Digging Orwell's “memory Holes” across the Internet’. Spiked Online. August 6. http://www.spiked-online.com/freespeechnow/fsn_article/the-eu-is-digging-orwells-memory-holes-across-the-internet#.V-04hjXdCUk.

18 Lee, Dave. 2014. ‘Google Ruling “Astonishing”, Says Wikipedia Founder Wales’. BBC News, May 14Google Scholar, sec. Technology. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27407017.

19 See, for example, Lee, Dave. 2014. ‘BBC to Publish “Right to Be Forgotten” Removals List’. BBC News, October 17Google Scholar, sec. Technology. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29658085.

20 Peston, Robert. 2014. ‘Why Has Google Cast Me into Oblivion?BBC News, July 2Google Scholar, sec. Business. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28130581.

21 Olivier G v Le Soir, 29 April 2016, C.15.0052.F.

22 Tomlinson, Hugh. 2016. ‘Case Law, Belgium: Olivier G v Le Soir. “Right to Be Forgotten” Requires Anonymization of Online Newspaper Archive’. Inform's Blog. July 19Google Scholar. https://inforrm.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/case-law-belgium-olivier-g-v-le-soir-right-to-be-forgotten-requires-anonymisation-of-online-newspaper-archive-hugh-tomlinson-qc/.

23 European Commission. 2015. ‘Special Eurobarometer 431: Data Protection’. http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_431_en.pdf.

25 Maximillian Schrems  v  Data Protection Commissioner. 2015, Case C-362/14. CJEU (Grand Chamber).

26 Europe-v-Facebook.org. 2016. ‘NSA Mass Surveillance: US Government Wants to Intervene in European Facebook Case’. http://www.europe-v-facebook.org/PR_MC-US.pdf.

27 Article 29 Working Party. 2016. ‘Article 29 Working Party Statement on the Decision of the European Commission on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield’. European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/article-29/press-material/press-release/art29_press_material/2016/20160726_wp29_wp_statement_eu_us_privacy_shield_en.pdf.

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