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On Personal Data, Forgiveness, and the Right to Be Forgotten

10 Mar 2015

This is an excerpt from a lecture Professor Luciano Floridi delivered at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, where he explored the right to be forgotten through identifying various types of memories–‘green’, recorded, valuable, problematic, and ‘heavy’–and discussing the politics of these given the societal desire to maintain transparency and accountability. He then summarises the significance of the right to be forgotten, a ruling by the European Court of Justice declaring that an Internet Search Engine must consider requests from individuals to remove links to freely accessible web pages resulting from a search on their name without deleting the information itself. Floridi additionally mentions how one can approach data from either an economic perspective, as property, or from an ontological standpoint, viewing it as part of oneself.