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date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses data protection aspects of liability of online intermediaries with special emphasis on the right to be forgotten as developed by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and later by national courts in Europe. It considers also relevant provisions within the General Data Protection Regulation and how they affect online intermediaries’ activities. This chapter briefly considers two manifestations of the right to be forgotten as they are being currently applied in the EU. First, the right to be forgotten vis-à-vis internet search engines; that is, the right to be delisted from search results. Secondly, the right-to-be-forgotten claims directed against primary publishers to have the information deleted or anonymized at the source. In doing so, this chapter will point to hotly debated issues, recently addressed by the CJEU, such as the geographical scope of the right to be forgotten, that is its possible extraterritorial application, and the prohibition of processing of sensitive data that should theoretically apply to all data controllers, including those online intermediaries that qualify as such. This chapter also considers how balancing of rights should occur when right-to-be-forgotten claims to delist content are brought against search engines or publishers.

Keywords: right to be forgotten, search engines, Google Spain, GDPR, CNIL, freedom of expression, CJEU, ECtHR

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