Title

The 'right to be forgotten' online is really a right to be forgiven

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

The right to be forgotten, or to erasure, is ill-named, because the past cannot be obliterated, De Terwangne and others say. The problem is context. Unlike human memory, a Google search for a name is as likely to generate a dated criminal history as a current phone number. While people forgive and forget over time, the Internet punishes relentlessly.

Comments

This op-ed was published online by the Washington Post on November 21, 2014.