The right to be forgotten as a new challenge of human rights: analysing its functioning in the personal data protection

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Yan, Zihan
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Rapid technological developments have brought new challenges for the protection of personal data. The right to be forgotten as an element of personal data protection has been debated hotly and controversially for the past few years, especially in Europe. The scale of data sharing and collecting has made personal information publicly and globally available, therefore it is necessary to provide a legal mechanism to persons to remove their personal data from online databases.This thesis seeks to address how important the right to be forgotten will be as a new human right to protect personal data information in the digital age. The right to be forgotten needs better definition to avoid negative consequences since it is not very clear yet. Individuals should have the right to control over their personal information and remove it effectively after a certain time elapsed. Among the development of this right, there is an emerging dispute between European countries and United States, it is discussed in conflict with the right to freedom of expression. In such an information age, the criticism of the right to be forgotten also focus on internet environment in particular. Hence it is a urgent problem that how to implement the right to be forgotten in practice, both legal framework and technical measures should be taken into consideration. Furthermore, in order to improve its efficient function in society and create a more friendly online environment, we need to find sufficient and possible methods both from legal view and technical view to balance the public interests and personal privacy on the application of the right to be forgotten.
Second semester University: KU Leuven.
data protection, internet, right of privacy