The Right to Be For­got­ten: “For­get It, I’ll Never Let You Go – Should the Inter­net For­get?”

© Stefan Zeitz

The rul­ing of the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice (ECJ) on the so-called “right to be for­got­ten” means that since May 2014, search engine providers have been oblig­ed, under cer­tain cir­cum­stances, to remove links relat­ing to per­son­al infor­ma­tion from their search results. This deci­sion has been much-dis­cussed, and its impact on free­dom of infor­ma­tion and speech are hard to fore­see.

Do search engine oper­a­tors get to decide what con­tent should be search­able online and what should­n’t be?

Is the ECJ’s judge­ment on the “right to be for­got­ten” an attack on free­dom of infor­ma­tion? What chal­lenges will its imple­men­ta­tion bring with it in prac­tice?

What might a gen­er­al­ly-accept­able solu­tion to this issue look like?

These ques­tions and more were dis­cussed by promi­nent spe­cial­ists from pol­i­tics, eco­nom­ics and the media on 26 March 2015 in Berlin’s Meis­ter­saal.


17.30 – Wel­com­ing Remarks
Philipp Otto, Project Leader, “Does Ger­many Need a Dig­i­tal Codex?”, Founder and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of iRights.Lab

17:35 – Wel­com­ing Remarks and Intro­duc­tion
Matthias Kam­mer, Direc­tor of the Ger­man Insti­tute for Inter­net Con­fi­den­tial­i­ty and Secu­ri­ty (DIVSI)

17.45 – Keynote: “What Is the Social Mean­ing of Mem­o­ry?”
Sabine Leutheuss­er-Schnar­ren­berg­er, for­mer Ger­man Fed­er­al Jus­tice Min­is­ter, mem­ber of the Google Dele­tion Advi­so­ry Panel

18.00 – “The ECJ Rul­ing in a Nut­shell”
Dr. Till Kreutzer, Part­ner, iRights.Law

18.10 – Debate I: “Attack on Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion? What Should Be Done?”
Katha­ri­na Borchert, CEO, Spiegel Online
Dr. Ole Schröder, MdB, Par­lia­men­tary Under-Sec­re­tary for the Ger­man Fed­er­al Min­is­ter of the Inte­ri­or

18.30 – Debate II: “Busi­ness as Judge — a Model for the Future?”
Dr. Eva Fleck­en, Direc­tor of the Berlin Bureau, Sky Deutsch­land
Ulrich Kel­ber, MdB, Par­lia­men­tary Under-Sec­re­tary for the Ger­man Fed­er­al Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and Con­sumer pro­tec­tion

18.50 – Panel Dis­cus­sion: “The ECJ Rul­ing Put to the Test”
Jan Philipp Albrecht, MdEP, Act­ing Chair of the Com­mit­tees of the Inte­ri­or and of Jus­tice
Kon­stan­tin Klein, Chief Edi­tor, Deutsche Welle
Jan Kottmann, Head of Media Policy/​Senior Pol­i­cy Coun­sel DACH Google Deutsch­land
Michaela Schröder, Data Pro­tec­tion Expert for Ver­braucherzen­trale Bun­desver­band e.V.

19.20 – Ques­tions from the Floor

19.40 – Sum­ming-up
Matthias Kam­mer

The event was host­ed by Prof. Dr. Frank Über­all, Cologne/​Berlin Col­lege of Media, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Eco­nom­ics and Matthias Kam­mer.

This event was part of the project “Does Ger­many Need a Dig­i­tal Codex?” which the iRights.Lab car­ried out on behalf of the Ger­man Insti­tute for Inter­net Con­fi­den­tial­i­ty and Secu­ri­ty (Deutsches Insti­tut für Ver­trauen und Sicher­heit im Inter­net, DIVSI). After the first part of the project raised the ques­tion of whether a dig­i­tal char­ter codex estab­lish the social norms which were lack­ing in the inter­net, the sec­ond sec­tion took a con­crete look at the topic of “Big Data”. The project leader was Philipp Otto, Founder and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the iRights.Lab.

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