Melanie Dulong de Rosnay
CNRS/Paris-Sorbonne/UPMC, Institute of Communication Sciences
University of Sussex, School of Law, Politics and Sociology
RESET (Social Science Research on the Internet)
6 | 2017
This article studies the possible impact of the “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) on the preservation of native digital heritage. It analyses the extent to which archival practices may be affected by the new right, and whether the web may become impossible to preserve for future generations, risking to disappear from memories and history since no version would be available in public or private archives. Collective rights to remember and to memory, free access to information and freedom of expression, seem to clash with private individuals’ right to privacy. After a presentation of core legal concepts of privacy, data protection and freedom of expression, we analyse the case of the European Union Court of Justice vs. Google concerning the right to be forgotten, and look deeper into the controversies generated by the decision. We conclude that there is no room for concern for archives and for the right to remember given the restricted application of RTBF.