Home > FT > “People Don’t Forget”: The Necessity of Legislative Guidance in Implementing a U.S. Right to Be Forgotten

“People Don’t Forget”: The Necessity of Legislative Guidance in Implementing a U.S. Right to Be Forgotten

Hillary C. Webb
85 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1304

This Note argues that U.S. policymakers should use the spirit of the EU’s decision in Google Spain to implement an American right to be forgotten—consistent with the U.S. Constitution—in order to regulate the currently unregulated discretion of Google and other search engine providers in removing search results. Part I outlines the history of the right to be forgotten, the Google Spain decision, and the emergence of the right around the world. Part II describes the current debate in the United States and discusses the constitutional and philosophical underpinnings that justify a right to be forgotten. Part III applies the spirit and principles discussed in Parts I and II and proposes a substantive and procedural legislative solution to the U.S. policy silence on search engine regulation and the right to be forgotten. The proposal in Part III sets forth a multifactor balancing test to clarify delisting criteria, as well as options for an appeals process, with the goal of channeling modern developments of the right to be forgotten into a constitutionally sound regulation.

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