The Right to Be Forgotten: Future of Privacy Forum Statement on Decisions by European Court of Justice


WASHINGTON, DC – September 24, 2019 – Statement by Future of Privacy Forum CEO Jules Polonetsky regarding two European Court of Justice decisions announced today in its cases with Google:

Key decisions about the balance of privacy and free expression still remain to be settled by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Although the ECJ’s two decisions generally support the rights of those searching the web to access links to information, both show the tremendous weight European law gives to privacy as a human right that is given the strongest consideration before it is limited. Even though the court found that European law does not mandate global delisting when the Right to Be Forgotten is asserted, it indicated that a data protection authority could seek global delisting if the privacy balance called for it in a specific circumstance.

The court also made clear that within Europe there can be national variances in how the Right to Be Forgotten can be applied, given differences in local law and culture.

In a second case also decided today, the court avoided banning in advance listing of results that include political, racial or other sensitive information. It did require heightened consideration for those results, to the extent that it even required that pages containing information about criminal histories include relevant context on the search page, when the affected party objects to the results.


Media Contact:

Tony Baker
Future of Privacy Forum
[email protected]

About the Future of Privacy Forum
Future of Privacy Forum is a global non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. Learn more about FPF by visiting