- December 6, 2021
- 15:00 - 16:30
Hannah Carnegy-Arbuthnott (York), 'Privacy, Publicity, and the Right to be Forgotten'
The ‘right to be forgotten’ allows data subjects to request the erasure of personal data held by various data controllers, including requests to have certain search results associated with one’s name removed from the pages of search engine results. This paper interrogates what, if anything, could justify such a right. I argue that appeals to privacy fail to provide a good basis for justifying the data protection provisions in question. A better path to justifying the right to be forgotten can be found by drawing on the same principle that underpins the right against defamation. We can make the case that we have reason to provide people protection from their online public profile being distorted in ways analogous to defamation.
There is a more general upshot to rethinking the justificatory basis of this relatively narrow aspect of the right to be forgotten. Debates around how to regulate data protection have often been narrowly focussed on the question of how to balance individual privacy against the public interest. The argument of this paper is intended to show that trying to analyse all data protection provisions through the lens of privacy unduly constrains our thinking about the reasons for which such provisions might be both socially important and justifiable on other grounds. By drawing our attention to a possible alternative basis of justification, I hope to widen the scope of our debates about when and why we might have reason to give individuals more control over their personal data.
Contact Suzanne Whitten (firstname.lastname@example.org) for link.
School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
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|Name||Dr Suzanne Whitten|