By Wanjiku Karanja
The so called “right to be forgotten” has arisen from claims of individuals who wish to have certain data relating to them deleted from the internet, so as to prevent 3rd parties from accessing it. Such requests encompass a wide scope of concerns ranging from revenge porn sites to references to crimes committed, appearing in search engine listings for a persons name, forming a prominent part of their digital footprint.
While such requests are made as an extension of a person’s right to privacy, the “right to be forgotten” is distinct in the sense that it involves the removal of information that is already in the public domain. The notion of this right is derived from European data protection laws such as the European Data Protection Directive (EU Directive 95/46EC) which was enacted to regulate the processing of personal data. Further, the European Court of Justice legally solidified this right in the case of Google Spain v AEPD & Mario Costeja Gonzalez.