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Lux In Arcana : Decoding the Right to Be Forgotten in Digital Archives


  • Patricia Sanchez Abril

    () (School of Business Administration, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA)

  • Eugenio Pizarro Moreno

    () (Facultad de Derecho, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville 44273, Spain)


On 13 May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that search engines such as Google had a duty to respect EU citizens’ right to be forgotten. That is, the search engines—deemed “controllers” of information under the Directive—were obligated in some circumstances to remove or de-list links from search results that pertain to information that infringes on an individual’s rights under the Directive. In the fall of 2015, the Spanish Supreme Court found itself obligated to determine the application of the digital right to be forgotten in a different context: This time in a digital newspaper archive. However, since the right to be forgotten is purely judicially-created and not yet memorialized in a regulation (other than through judicial interpretations of the European Directive 1995/46/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 24 October on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data), it is therefore appropriate to analyze Spain’s recent Supreme Court ruling as an indicator of the future of the right. What does this decision mean for the future of the right to be forgotten?

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia Sanchez Abril & Eugenio Pizarro Moreno, 2016. "Lux In Arcana : Decoding the Right to Be Forgotten in Digital Archives," Laws, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 1-9, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jlawss:v:5:y:2016:i:3:p:33-:d:75859

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    More about this item


    privacy; Internet; right to be forgotten; General Data Protection Regulation; Google Spain v. Agencia Española de Protección de Datos; A & B v. El País;

    JEL classification:

    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • K1 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
    • K3 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F68 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Policy


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