The ‘right to be forgotten’ laws show how we’re having to adjust free speech and privacy for new circumstances

The “right to be forgotten” is an example of how we’re having to adjust the established principles of free speech and privacy for new circumstances and technology, City University of London professor and head of journalism George Brock writes. But where the law has failed in the EU is that it fails to balance those competing rights, Brock argues. “The ‘right to be forgotten’ is a muddled, sweeping solution, which fails to clarify a specific remedy for a particular problem,” Brock writes. “I would like EU law to recognize that privacy and free expression are matters of colliding rights which can’t be wished away by pretending that there is no conflict. Collisions of basic rights cannot be abolished; they can only be managed.”