Topic: Rights To Be Forgotten
The ‘Right to be Forgotten’ is the concept that individuals have the civil right to request that personal information be removed from the Internet. The Right to be Forgotten is intended to cope with privacy risks online by empowering individuals to control their own identity and information in the online environment. Thus, if an individual no longer wants his or her personal data to be processed or stored by a controller (e.g. twitter) and if there is no legitimate reason for keeping it, the data should be removed from their system.
While the Right to be Forgotten aims to support personal privacy, there is a concern is that it conflicts with the open nature of the Web and the free flow of information. The interests of one individual in removing information from the Web may conflict with the interests of another individual or group.
For example, there is an ongoing concern about giving the privilege of ‘Right to be Forgotten ’ to Public officials who voluntarily offer themselves for political positions and who live on tax-payers money.
In our considered view, Private Citizens are entitled to ‘Right to be Forgotten’ but same may not be said of public officials however, because such mechanism is required to make public officials accountable to the people. That’s why PIN alongside 47 organizations spread across five continent signed on to an Open Letter written in opposition to Twitter’s recent decision to revoke the ability of the tool Politwoops and similar tools. Twitter seem to reason that “No one user is more deserving of that ability [to delete a tweet] than another. Indeed, deleting a tweet is an expression of one’s voice.” We hope we will be able to convince Twitter to rescind its decision on Politwoops.
Dr Tomi Oladepo is an independent digital media consultant and researcher. She holds a PhD in Cultural Policy Studies from the University of Warwick. Her doctoral research looks at ways of developing democracy through digital media, specifically developing a culture of democratic thinking, behavior and communication. She has a very strong interest is online media and has experience in radio broadcasting, film and documentary production.
Her areas of research interest are: digital Media communications (social media, mobile telephony, blogs and more), the public sphere and the politics of public culture, cultural and creative enterprise, Africa, human and cultural rights, and democratization.