Monday, October 01, 2018

How a 'right to be forgotten' could trigger a battle over free speech in Canada

A push by some legal experts to get Parliament to embrace a "right to be forgotten" for Canadians is setting up what could be a landmark battle over the conflict between privacy and freedom of expression on the internet.

The advent of social media and new information technologies has intensified the debate over whether individuals should have a legal tool to ensure that material harming their reputations doesn't haunt them forever.

This week, Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien served notice he intends to seek clarity from the Federal Court on whether existing laws already give Canadians the right to demand that search engines remove links to material that is outdated, incomplete or incorrect, a process called "de-indexing."

Following a round of consultations he launched in 2016, Therrien concluded in a draft report earlier this year that Canadians do have that right under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Google, the world's dominant search engine firm, disagrees — and warns that a fundamental charter right is being threatened.

"The right to be forgotten impinges on our ability to deliver on our mission, which is to provide relevant search results to our users," said Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel. "What's more, it limits our users' ability to discover lawful and legitimate information."



Bill R. said...

Google only helps China censor information. The rest of the world? Fugettaboutit!!! For the record, I am against any censorship.

Anonymous said...

The line between the right to information and the right to privacy is a tricky one.
It is even hard to get clearly false or misleading information removed.
One interesting associated issue is the massive mug-shot index (extorting) industry.
It is outrageous how hard and expensive it is to get a mugshot taken down - even if you were arrested in error.

Anonymous said...

to provide relevant search results to our users,

False incorrect information is not relevant.