Send the Word Over There: An Offshore Solution to the Right to Be Forgotten

Kaganoff, Jay | March 1, 2021

The right to be forgotten is a subject of contention in both the United States and
the European Union. In the E.U., the right to be forgotten gives one the right to
demand that information—even if published legitimately—be taken down or
removed from search engine results. While well-intentioned, this has led to
concerns of free press restrictions. In contrast, the right to be forgotten is not
recognized in the U.S., although there are scholars who would like to see such a
right here. This Note takes the view that introducing a right to be forgotten
would be contrary to the first amendment and privacy law frameworks in the
U.S., and further is not desirable based on the European experiment.

In 2019 the European Court of Justice held in Google v. CNIL that a
multinational platform does not have to comply with E.U. regulations on the
right to be forgotten on its non-European platforms. Building on this distinction,
this Note suggests an “offshore solution” to host articles and search engines
outside the reach of European jurisdictions.

This Note is of interest to scholars and practitioners curious about the right to
be forgotten debates, as well as the general differences in jurisprudence
between the U.S. and the E.U. in balancing privacy rights against freedom of
speech and the press.