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
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.