8th Internet, Law and Politics Congress (VIII). Right to Be Forgotten

Notes from the 8th Internet, Law and Politics Congress: Challenges and Opportunities of Online Entertainment, organized by the Open University of Catalonia, School of Law and Political Science, and held in Barcelona, Spain, on 9-10 July 2012. More notes on this event: idp2012.

Communications on the Right to Be Forgotten
Chairs: Mònica Vilasau. Lecturer, School of Law and Political Science (UOC).

The Emerging Right To Be Forgotten In Data Protection Law: Some Conceptual And Legal Problems.
David Lindsay, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Monash University, Melbourne (Australia).

When looking at privacy, we have to look before at identity. For instance identity formation in social networking sites or virtual worlds. In liquid societies it seems that we have to compulsory be creating and reinventing our identities. The problem is that what once was used for identity purposes in a given context, if data lasts forever this may pose a problem in the future, when the identity issue is no more relevant and/or the context has changed.

Thus, a right to be forgotten should be the first one of a new group of rights concerning privacy and personal data. Though technological based solutions may not be solutions at all, but social constructs/contracts is what we actually need.

El poder de autodeterminación de los datos personales en Internet.
María Dolores Palacios González, Profesora Titular de Derecho civil, Universidad de Oviedo.

The goal of Law is trying to find a balance between opposing interests.

In the case of personal data explicit consent should be the norm — with the appropriate exceptions when access to data is a necessity and does not go against fundamental rights.

There is a risk of censorship if there is an unbalance towards privacy, and a risk of inefficiency in guaranteeing privacy if there is an unbalance towards freedom of expression.

Naming and Shaming in Greece: Social Control, Law Enforcement and the Collateral Damages of Privacy and Dignity.
Lilian Mitrou, Associate Professor, Department Information and Communication Systems Engineering, University of the Aegean (Greece).

Naming as the disclosure, publication and dissemination of the identity of a person, who is convicted or suspected of crime or tax evasion. Shaming is a private emotional reaction, an individualized experience. A social process of purposefully expressing disapproval and/or contempt with the intention or effect of provoking embarrassment, discomfort, anger and fear.

In Greece it is legal to disclose the identities of sex offenders, and mandatory for tax evaders. This supposes a moral condemnation both of the offensive conduct and the offender, implying social sanctions and serious impacts on the ability of a person to engage in society. Indeed, there is a collision between shaming and presumption of innocence, as usually naming and shaming comes before guiltiness is proven.

There is no statistical or practical evidence that shaming is appropriate, necessary and reasonable in order to achieve deterrent of crime, but there does exist evidence that shaming makes much more difficult social reinsertion.

A right of oblivion comes to hand.

As personal blogs and social media in general are very difficult to target, the goal of regulation and right to forget policies should be search engines.


8th Internet, Law and Politics Conference (2012)