O’Callaghan and de Mars, ‘Narratives about privacy and forgetting in English law’

This paper examines narratives about the right of privacy in the UK. It argues that until relatively recently the dominant narrative was one that associated privacy with celebrity claimants and media defendants. Other narratives, such as those concerned with digital privacy and data protection, did not feature as prominently. But changing technological and social contexts mean that these narratives are now understood to be of immense importance too. This paper explores these narratives against the backdrop of the European Commission’s proposals for a ‘right to be forgotten’ (now relabeled a ‘right to erasure’), the subject-matter of this special issue, as well as the 2014 Google Spain judgment. The paper emphasises the importance of forgetting as an aspect of the right to privacy and argues that while the UK legislator and courts have been slow to give effect to erasure remedies, they must now start exploring the bounds of legal possibility in order to meet the challenges of the digital age.

Patrick O’Callaghan and Sylvia de Mars, ‘Narratives about privacy and forgetting in English law’. International Review of Law, Computers and Technology. DOI: 10.1080/13600869.2015.1125163. Published online: 12 Feb 2016.

First posted 2016-02-16 11:40:07

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