Culture & ideas Media and Multimedia

Internet: Commission to rule on right to be forgotten

2 January 2012
Presseurop
Público

Headlining with "Brussels opposes Internet memory," Público reports that the European Commission is preparing to revise its 1995 directive on the protection of personal data in February of this year. The first draft of the new directive, to which the daily has had access, "contains a chapter on the right to be forgotten online." Público adds that "companies are dreading the new norms (...) for a reason that goes beyond the right to be forgotten: their potential economic impact." The newspaper cites the case of social network Facebook, which recently announced changes to its personal data policy designed to ensure compliance with legislation in Ireland, where the company has its European headquarters.

The proposed directive, which is centred on the deletion of data, also includes provisions for web users’ rights to "free speech" and "access" to data used by Internet companies, and procedures for "filing complaints" or "demanding the modification or deletion" of data. However, as Público notes, "legal and other experts have indicated that the same instrument that serves to protect privacy could be used to suppress freedom of speech on the net." Fines for companies that fail to respect the new norms could amount to as much as 5% turnover, points out Público.