The Evolving Right to be Forgotten: An Analysis of ECJ’s Google Spain v. AEPD Decision
Author：Hui-Chieh Su Assistant Research Fellow
Origin of Topic
The aim of traditional protection of personal data is to protect the data subject against unconsented, illegitimate and unnecessary processing of his or her personal data, which does not include distribution of legally published speech. However, when the eternal memory of Internet became reality and prolonged or even destroyed information lifecycle, legal scholars began to reconsider the definition and scale of personal data protection in the Internet Age.
In recent years, the European Union is making efforts to extend personal data protection to the right to be forgotten. Therefore, this article is focused on the EU context and tries to clarify the development of the concept “the right to be forgotten” by analyzing how the 2014 landmark decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Google Spain v. AEPD, incorporated the right to be forgotten into the existing protection of personal data in the EU. Moreover, this article is focused on examining the fundamental difficulty of the right to be forgotten – how to reevaluate and define the protection of personality right in the Internet Age, which is often associated with the phrase, “privacy is dead”. Because of the differences in legal norms and regulatory organization structures, EU’s determination of the right to be forgotten cannot be directly applied to the context of Taiwan. However, on issues of the protection of personality right in information society, EU’s determination of the right to be forgotten may provide useful references for Taiwan.