Let's take a look at disturbing aspects of censorship, in which thousands of references to people have virtually disappeared from the internet following an EU ruling on the "Right to Be Forgotten" in which individuals have the right to ask search engines to remove links with personal information about them.
Wikipedia provides the background for discussion.
The right to be forgotten ‘reflects the claim of an individual to have certain data deleted so that third persons can no longer trace them.’ It has been defined as ‘the right to silence on past events in life that are no longer occurring.’ The right to be forgotten manifests itself in allowing individuals to delete information, videos or photographs about themselves from internet records, and thus prevent them from showing up on search engines.
In May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled against Google in Costeja, a case brought by a Spanish man who requested the removal of a link to a digitized 1998 article in La Vanguardia newspaper about an auction for his foreclosed home, for a debt that he had subsequently paid. He initially attempted to have the article removed by complaining to the Spanish Data Protection Agency, which rejected the claim on the grounds that it was lawful and accurate, but accepted a complaint against Google and asked Google to remove the results. Google sued in the Spanish Audiencia Nacional (National High Court) which referred a series of questions to the European Court of Justice. The court ruled in Costeja that search engines are responsible for the content they point to and thus, Google was required to comply with EU data privacy laws.
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