The Right to Be Forgotten


Google is battling France and the European Court of Justice  for the way it keeps data on individuals, especially if the data is out of date or inflammatory. People would be allowed to scrub their names from Google search results under something called “the right to be forgotten.”

I find the phrase so charming that I wondered whether we should all have that right?

There is, of course, the online record of our behavior. The booze-drenched photos, the flippant Facebook comments, the snotty email on a bad day.

But wouldn’t it be lovely to have the ability to erase the offline record as well?

The young girl who dressed in shiny polyester and blue eyeshadow? Gone, and I wish forgotten! The young woman who thought the highest compliment anyone could give her was to call her sexy? Gone and maybe just mothballed until I need to bring her out as an object lesson.

The times I said something insensitive or was less than my best self? Anyone whose heart I broke when I was young and insecure, or older and still insecure? I wish they would forget the transgression, if not forget me.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we all had the right, when we wished to exercise it, to be forgotten?

Gone and Forgotten