Can Europe Force Search Engines to Censor Information? Assessing the Right to be Forgotten

Date: August 8, 2014

In May, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Google and other search engines must consider requests by any EU citizen to delete information about them, under a policy known as “the right to be forgotten.” Google alone has processed more than 90,000 take down requests since May. Europe’s new privacy right clashes with other deeply held values such as freedom of expression and transparency. Many observers are concerned that the EU’s approach could even affect American Internet users. EU privacy regulators have suggested that the search engines must delete results not only within the EU, but globally, in spite of our First Amendment rights to publish and view the information.

Mike Godwin, Senior Policy Advisor, Internews
Joe Jerome, Policy Counsel, Future of Privacy Forum
Emma Llansó, Director of CDT’s Project on Free Expression, Center for Democracy and Technology
Rob Pegoraro, Columnist, Yahoo Tech
David Hoffman, Director of Security Policy and Global Privacy Officer, Intel
Michael Kubayanda, Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee