Holcomb on The Moral Case for Adopting a U.S. Right to be Forgotten

Lindsay Holcomb (University of Pennsylvania Law School) has posted “The Moral Case for Adopting a U.S. Right to be Forgotten” (4 J. L. & Tech. at Tx. 151 (2021)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This article challenges the notion that the right to be forgotten is in direct opposition to the American values of free expression and the public’s right to know by arguing that such a right has roots in American moral culture as well as jurisprudence in the right to rehabilitation, and ultimately, suggests adopting a form of the right to privacy in the U.S. Part I reviews the origins of the European right to be forgotten, focusing on the Google Spain decision and relevant articles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Part II argues that the U.S. has long supported a rehabilitative notion of privacy, which provides sturdy ground on which the right to be forgotten could stand in the U.S. Part III addresses First Amendment criticisms of the right. Part IV assesses how the right to be forgotten might be operationalized in the U.S. This article concludes with a discussion of the moral benefits of a right to be forgotten, particularly in how a more forgiving society can in fact increase speech and democratic participation.