When Google Becomes the Norm: The Case for Privacy and the Right to be Forgotten

Ryan Belbin

Abstract


The ubiquity of the Internet is inescapable; from online banking and document transmission to social media and video communications, the digital world is becoming increasingly populated. Collective connectivity brings with it unique legal and regulatory challenges that did not exist in a pre-Internet era, particularly given the Internet’s inherent technical complexities and issues around territorial jurisdiction and competing rights and values. The divide between the law and societal expectations is particularly noticeable when considering individual privacy; when personal information is easily accessible by millions of users around the globe with access to a modem or a mobile network, is there any recourse available for someone wishing to limit their personal exposure?

This paper will consider the so-called "Right to be Forgotten," enshrined in European law since 2014 but still a foreign concept in Canada. In doing so, the paper queries whether the ability for a party to apply to Google to have damaging personal information de-listed from its search algorithm would be legally possible in light of the Charter, and whether it would even be desirable from a policy perspective


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