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The Internet Doesn’t Forget: Redefining Privacy Through an American Right to Be Forgotten

Abstract

In the 21st century, a large part of our identities exist on the Internet. When we apply for jobs, meet a new person, or make plans to go out to eat at a restaurant, one of the most accessible tools to use is Google. But who is monitoring this and how are people managing their online identities? In the European Union, there exists a “Right to be Forgotten”, which allows one to petition Google and other search engines to “unlink” one’s identity from a website under certain circumstances. Following this unlinkage, the website continues to exist with the same content, but it no longer exists when a search is performed linking the persona to the article. This article proposes solutions to the privacy problems presented by an unchecked World Wide Web, recognizing that while the EU’s system might not work in the US, a system needs to be implemented to deal with the fact that the Internet never forgets.

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