January 16, 2022

New Journal Article: “Memory Hole or Right to Delist?: Implications of the Right to be Forgotten for Web Archiving”


Memory Hole or Right to Delist?: Implications of the Right to be Forgotten for Web Archiving


Melanie Dulong de Rosnay
CNRS/Paris-Sorbonne/UPMC, Institute of Communication Sciences

Andres Guadamuz
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.

Direct to Full Text ||| PDF Version (23 pages)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.