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'Right to be forgotten': Jon Baines and Emma Woollcott in The Times

Posted on 14 September 2023

Senior Data Protection Specialist Jon Baines and Partner and Head of the Reputation Protection and Crisis Management Emma Woollcott co-authored an article which has appeared in The Times.

The piece considers the implication of a recent judgment on freedom of expression for publishers and peoples' right - and ability - to be 'forgotten'.

They wrote: "A recent judgment from the European Court of Human Rights regarding a 'right to be forgotten' has gone relatively unnoticed in the UK — but it has potentially profound consequences for the immutability of digital media archives.

"[I]n the case of Hurbain v Belgium, that court has now held that a right to be forgotten exists not just as a matter of data protection law, but also under Article 8 — the right to respect for a private and family life — under the European Convention on Human Rights.

"One of the benefits of maintaining a collective memory is that we do not yet know what we might, in future, want to know. Archived information that appears outdated can often, and suddenly, acquire current relevance. If it has been “erased”, then lessons of the past might be forever lost."

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