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The FSR Communications and Media together with the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom and the Law Department of the EUI in cooperation with KU Leuven /  FP7 REVEAL project will organise a Seminar on the Right to be Forgotten.

On May 13, 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that individuals have a right to obtain removal of certain search results that are shown following a web search on the basis of their name. The ruling sparked a lively debate both inside and outside Europe on the rights and wrongs of the so-called “right to be forgotten”. At one end of the spectrum are those who scorn the judgment, labelling it a menace to the public’s right to know and a push for private censorship. At the other end are commentators embracing the ruling as a “privacy victory”, adding that the detriment to freedom of expression should be minimal in practice.

Last September, the European Commission released a factsheet – a so-called “mythbuster” – on the controversial ruling in which it reacted to what it labeled “exaggerated” or “simply unfounded” concerns that had emerged in the debate. This factsheet triggered the opposite reaction in certain circles; Index on Censorship, for instance, stated that it renewed worries about the implications of the right to be forgotten on free expression and internet freedom and that “after going through the points raised, it is clear they [N.B. the European Commission] need some of their own mythbusting.”

In this seminar, we will take stock of relevant developments since the Court’s ruling – such as the Art. 29 WP guidelines adopted in November last year and the report by the Advisory Council to Google released in February of this year – and of the arguments put forward in the debates that ensued in the previous months. The main objective of the seminar is to critically assess the impact of the ruling on future developments and/or other actors such as online social networks, mainly from the following three angles: right to information – extraterritoriality – intermediary liability.

Introductory statements on these three topics will be provided by: Jef Ausloos (right to information), Brendan Van Alsenoy (extraterritoriality) and Aleksandra Kuczerawy (intermediary liability) from KU Leuven / REVEAL project, which will be commented by Judge Marko Ilešič (CJEU- case rapporteur). Dr. Maja Brkan, LL.M. (Maastricht University) Prof. David Erdos (Cambridge), Prof. Alessandro Mantelero (Turin), Prof. Oreste Pollicino (Bocconi) and Prof. Dan Svantesson (Bond University, Australia) will contribute to the debate. The session will be chaired by Prof. Peggy Valcke (KU Leuven & EUI) , Prof. Giovanni Sartor (EUI Department of Law) and Prof. Pier Luigi Parcu (CMPF and FSR Communications and Media). All participants will be invited to contribute actively to the discussion. The seminar will be held under Chatham House Rule. Download the Programme  

Badia Fiesolana – Teatro
Via dei Roccettini, 9
San Domenico di Fiesole, FL 50014 Italy


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