Publications of de Hert, P.

Korenhof P, Ausloos J, Székely I, Ambrose M, Sartor G, Leenes R. Timing the Right to Be Forgotten: A study into “time” as a factor in deciding about retention or erasure of data. In: Gutwirth S, Leenes R, de Hert P, editors. Reforming European Data Protection Law. Dordrecht: Springer Science+Business Media; 2015. p. 171-201. (Law, Governance and Technology - Issues in Privacy and Data Protection).

Timing the Right to Be Forgotten: A study into “time” as a factor in deciding about retention or erasure of data

The so-called “Right to Be Forgotten or Erasure” (RTBF), article 17 of the proposed General Data Protection Regulation, provides individuals with a means to oppose the often persistent digital memory of the Web. Because digital information technologies affect the accessibility of information over time and time plays a fundamental role in biological forgetting, ‘time’ is a factor that should play a pivotal role in the RTBF. This chapter explores the roles that ‘time’ plays and could play in decisions regarding the retention or erasure of data. Two roles are identified: (1) ‘time’ as the marker of a discrete moment where the grounds for retention no longer hold and ‘forgetting’ of the data should follow and (2) ‘time’ as a factor in the balance of interests, as adding or removing weight to the request to ‘forget’ personal information or its opposing interest. The chapter elaborates on these two roles from different perspectives and highlights the importance and underdeveloped understanding of the second role.

The right to forget, the right to be forgotten. Personal reflections on the fate of personal data in the information society

As the paper's subtitle suggests, my intention has been to present my views in a format that is decidedly different from the standard style of academic writing. Amalgamating the languages of scientific and literary approaches, the paper is meant to establish a common thread that runs through the separate topics of data protection literature – a leitmotif centered on the problematics of remembering and forgetting, if you will. As a result, readers will not find any numbered sections, bullet points, footnotes or end notes which would hinder the continuity of reading. There is, however, an annotated reference list at the end.