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The Source: The Impact Of The "Right To Be Forgotten"

Flickr user: Jerod Tarbell

The European Union has compelled U.S. companies to allow their citizens to delete links to information, including public records, from showing up on their search engines. Google lost a case in May that cemented the EU's data protection policy that leaders call the 'right to be forgotten.'

Simply put, the EU wants its citizens to have complete control of data collected about them. If they don't have the right to delete data, can they really own it?

The loss has free speech advocates railing against the new policy, which was proposed in January of this year. They say it will stymie free expression. Media watchdogs worry about how it will impact the public's right to know about its elected officials and other pertinent leaders.

Google reportedly was being flooded with 12,000 take down requests within 24 hours of the ruling. They have since created an online form that people can use.

What is the balance between a right to know and a right to be forgotten?


  • Alistair Barr, a technology reporter for the Wall Street Journal
  • Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy at the Center for Democracy and Technology

*This is the second segment in the June 5 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM. 

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive