The Trouble with Using Search Engines as the Primary Vector of Exercising the Right to Be Forgotten

Stuart Hargreaves

The Trouble with Using Search Engines as the Primary Vector of Exercising the Right to Be Forgotten


European privacy law currently implements the ‘right to be forgotten’ by positioning commercial search engine operators as the initial site of decision-making regarding its exercise. This is problematic for a number of reasons. First, there are a number of structural flaws in the mode of this decision-making that make it unclear that search engines are capable of (or interested in) incorporating a robust account of competing interests. Second, right to be forgotten requests are not susceptible to the same kind of algorithmic techniques search engines use to deal with other kinds of removal requests, meaning large numbers of decisions must be made rapidly and primarily by staff lacking formal legal qualifications. When compounded with the possibility of heavy penalties for failure to comply with the right under European law, these two issues suggest there is a significant potential for bias toward deletion rather than preservation of borderline links. A third problem is that the simple online forms provided by search engines for European data users making a deletion request mask a complicated legal analysis, meaning those who properly structure their requests in an appropriately technical and legal manner may have a higher chance of success in their claims. This threatens to open up a new digital divide along the axis of reputation. Finally, the massive compliance costs associated with this new right may serve as a form of anti-competitive lock-in, preventing the emergence of innovative new companies in ‘search’. In sum, if the right to be forgotten is to have real meaning in European law, search engines are not the correct vector for its implementation.


How Snapchat has reshaped social media

How Snapchat has reshaped social media

Snapchat to charge flat fee for content, quit sharing ad profit
(Snap Inc.)

Snapchat’s reputation as a social network for young people led to it being mistakenly ignored, Farhad Manjoo writes. The platform has excelled in part because of its decision to use human curation for Live Stories, as opposed to competitors’ use of algorithms, which lends its news and entertainment content authenticity and empathy.

The New York Times 

Winning with Social Media: A Desktop Guide for Lawyers Using Social Media in Litigation and Trial


By Michelle Sherman


Winning with Social Media: A Desktop Guide for Lawyers Using Social Media in Litigation and Trial

Publisher: NITA

Litigation is about winning. Social media, once the stomping grounds of a youthful, tech-savvy generation, a phenomenon with an incredible impact in the legal arena. The oversharing that happens on social networking sites can make or break a case, and that’s where Winning with Social Media comes in. In the twenty-first century, dealing with social media evidence is a crucial part of your discovery plan and trial preparation, and Winning with Social Media will help you meet that challenge.

Law in the Age of Social Media


Forbes: Law In The Age Of Social Media


Strasner v. Touchstone Wireless Repair and Logistics (Personal Jurisdiction)

Strasner v. Touchstone Wireless Repair and Logistics (Personal Jurisdiction)

November 4, 2016
Labor & Employment Law, Cyberspace Law
(California Court of Appeal) – In an action for injuries plaintiff suffered when an employee of defendant’s allegedly uploaded a private photograph of plaintiff to her Facebook page from a mobile telephone she had returned to T-Mobile, the trial court’s grant of defendant’s motion to quash service of the summons and amended complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction is affirmed where plaintiff has failed to establish any defendant’s minimum contacts with California sufficient to allow for the exercise of specific jurisdiction.

Court revives defamation suit over blog-post comment about lawyer


Court revives defamation suit over blog-post comment about lawyer

The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has reinstated a lawsuit by a Chicago-based lawyer over defamation claims stemming from a comment on a Jezebel blog post. The comment about Meanith Huon, who was acquitted of sexual-assault charges, favored the accuser’s version of events.

ABA Journal (11/2016)

Updating the Social Network: How Outdated and Unclear State Legislation Unconstitutionally Violates Sex Offenders’ First Amendment Rights

Elizabeth Tolon


Updating the Social Network: How Outdated and Unclear State Legislation Unconstitutionally Violates Sex Offenders’ First Amendment Rights


In an effort to protect the public, sex offenders are subject to a wide variety of restrictions. Where they live, what they can do, who they can see – the government regulates almost every aspect of sex offenders’ lives. In an effort to curb internet based criminal activity, states have enacted legislation restricting sex offenders’ internet use.

Unfortunately, current legislation is often outdated, overly restrictive, and unconstitutional. To avoid being unconstitutional and irrelevant, these statutes must be tailored to restrict social media use by the type of offense and/or offender, differentiate true social networking sites from those websites that employ secondary social features, and provide caveats for job related sites.

This paper will analyze current state legislation, focusing specifically on North Carolina’s statute, and how it falls short of the requirements. In comparing and contrasting North Carolina’s statute to other state statutes, this paper will also provide an analysis of State v. Packingham, and its importance to future legislation. Finally, this paper will suggest a model statute for restricting sex offenders’ internet use, while avoiding constitutional concern.


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