Nicolae Dragoş COSTESCU, Google Spain Decision – An Analysis of the Right to be Forgotten – A Regression from Past Interpretations of ECJ

Abstract: The right to be forgotten addresses an urgent problem in the new digital age: it is hard to escape one’s past on Internet now that every photo or status update can be seen by everyone and might remain stored in the «cloud» for a long time. Thus, it is important to know in which cases and under which conditions one can invoke the right to be forgotten and what it implies. In order to do that, we will  analyze legal provisions  and  case law, mainly the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) Google Spain dealing with the right to be forgotten. This is not an absolute right. There are circumstances which allow for its limitation. In addition, there are some exceptions that prevent the exercise of this right: freedom of expression and public interest that the ECJ took into consideration when ruling in the Google Spain Decision. Finally, we will address the involution of the right to be forgotten brought up by this decision, tackling bothjurisdictional issues and its character of novelty and originality.

Key-words: Right to be forgotten, privacy, absolute right, 1995 Data Protection Directive.

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