Right to be Forgotten: A Tug of War between Right to Privacy and Freedom of Speech

  • Nivedita Harsh
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  • Nivedita Harsh

    Student at Manipal University Jaipur, India

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Cogitation of Right to be forgotten first emerged and gained traction in 2014 when the search engine giant Google was sued by a business in Spain to permanently erase any information and details anent to his precursory bankruptcy. After a four-year-long trial European Court of Justice, on May 13, 2014, passed a landmark decision preserving an individual right to privacy and the protection of personal data. Although, by virtue of a subsequent judgement, it was established that the 2014 judgement only establishes a binding precedent within its geographical jurisdiction., the AEPD judgement has been cited in various national and international courts in several crucial litigations. The milestone judgement by European Union’s highest court has opened a juxtaposed dialogue about various national reverberations on the concept of the Right to be Forgotten. But with the evolution of the Right to privacy in the wake of increasing online and internet delinquency into the Right to be forgotten, there come unhackneyed complexities. Evident friction between the Right to privacy and freedom of speech and expression and, to that extent, curbing of Right to access to information. Free speech is one of the major pillars of a free democracy and is unquestionable of paramount consideration. Freedom of speech and expression is the essence of a free country. It is the tool through which the citizens and residents of a state freely express their intrinsic views, social, political and otherwise. Free speech is the key to a positive and effective running democracy as it is the mechanism through which the government is held accountable for its actions. In such a way, protection of free speech with a parallel application of Right to be forgotten with an exclusive approach viz. application of one does not jeopardise the exercise of the other is important.


Research Paper


International Journal of Legal Science and Innovation, Volume 4, Issue 1, Page 737 - 745

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLSI.111376

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