Sorry Americans, you do not have the “Right to be Forgotten.” Yet, anyway.
Let’s start from the beginning. European Union courts have recently upheld a ruling where individuals can have unfavorable content removed from Google’s search results. The ruling came down after lawsuit after lawsuit was filed against the web crawler concerning search results that negatively impacted the user’s life and profession. The ruling was called the “Right to be Forgotten.”
Now, anyone in the European Union can submit a form to have content associated with their name disappear from the search engine results page (SERP). Although the process is different, the practice is similar to copyright and other types of online infringement where people would contact web browsers about the display of certain data and information.
It should be noted, however, that simply filling out the form doesn’t mean anything will change. Each submission is handled on a case by case basis. But that’s only in Europe.
In the United States, there haven’t been any court decisions that would come close to “Right to be Forgotten,” at least in terms of how Google would operate and display results. So where do you stand?
On one hand, untrue news articles or a mix-up or one mistake could stay with you forever. Anytime someone searched your name or identity, those negative results would always appear. You would be digitally doomed.
On the other hand, don’t you want unfiltered, free information? What happens when a pedophile or rapist wants their convictions erased from results?
It won’t be long before Google will appear in the American court system and time will tell what result awaits.