FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
https://Right2Remove.US

NYC, February 11, 2020.

Right2Remove updates:

- Call to draft and pass the revised and amended New York State Right to Be Forgotten (“RTBF”) bill for the next legislature.
- Call to hire researchers for the Right2Remove campaign and policy.
- New video feature and interview on Al Jazeera about the Right to Be Forgotten.
- New data about the Right to Be Forgotten in Europe released by Google.
- New research shows consensus on the Right to Be Forgotten in the United States.


The Right2Remove campaign was featured in a video debate about the Right to Be Forgotten in the United States on the international channel Al Jazeera. The Right2Remove gave several quotes for the investigation and concluded the debate with bold statements on the Right to Be Forgotten as a necessary right of free speech lacking in the United States today. 
The video was broadcasted worldwide and it’s now available on YouTube:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=uGkBTEkxf-g

Recently, Google Inc. released a research paper that reveals data on the delisting of webpages on their search results in Europe to comply with the Right to Be Forgotten law. This data shows that in the past three years, most of the requests and delistings are for private individuals, minors, and deceased persons. While public figures and officials had a low percentage of approval to delist, unfortunately, Google currently doesn’t show who requested the delisting and the webpages contested. This is the document in pdf: “Five Years of the Right to Be Forgotten”:
https://elie.net/static/files/five-years-of-the-right-to-be-forgotten/five-years-of-the-right-to-be-forgotten-paper.pdf
These statistics prove that the Right to Be Forgotten has largely succeeded after five years of implementation in Europe. In contrast, the lack of privacy regulations in the U.S. is producing harmful social consequences that linger for decades.

A new poll shows an overwhelming popular consensus on the Right to Be Forgotten in the United States. This data has been published by Fact Tank of Pew Research Center. The data shows that over 70% of Americans are in favor of this policy, particularly those in their elder years and those affected by mass incarceration. Nevertheless, the research shows that the consensus is bipartisan and spreads across ages and states. This is the report on the poll about the Right to Be Forgotten in the United States published in January 2020:
https://pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/01/27/most-americans-support-right-to-have-some-personal-info-removed-from-online-searches

I’m Paolo Cirio and as the founder of the campaign Right2Remove, I’ve spent four years working on and fighting for this project. I’m amazed that finally the Right to Be Forgotten is no longer a taboo in the U.S. and is finally considered a necessary Internet right to be worked out and not ignored or aggressively rejected.

Beyond campaigning and building this community, I have been committed on drafting an improved version of the Right to Be Forgotten that overcomes the defects of its original iterations and fits United States legal frameworks. For instance, the policy I drafted with Right to Remove policy detailed specific categories of information that would be allowed to be removed, which is meant to resolve the vagueness of its European legal definition. I also clarify that this right would apply only to ordinary private individuals - not businesses, public entities, or public figures. Other improvements I research include the implementation of forums to appeal delisting cases, thus creating a more democratic instrument for this decision making process, which is now delegated exclusively to the search engines companies. I also research effective methods to increase transparency for all phases of the delisting adjudication process and related data to avoid any opacity around unfair decisions and removal of important information from search engines. In terms of language for defining this policy and its aims, I make sure to only refer to information causing stigma, harassment, and discrimination rather than defamation, libel, and reputation. All these details are very important to me in making sure that this policy can be implementable without criticism and benefit the many who desperately need it. Read more about the Right2Remove mission points:
https://Right2Remove.us/mission

I will also be working with representatives from the New York State legislature and the organization Consumer Watchdog to draft an improved version of the original NYS Assembly Bill (No. A10466). They have already begun considering a detailed list of categories of information that is similar to the list that I assembled, and I would advise them on implementing the other improvements mentioned above.

We are looking for crucial support to ensure that the drafting of bills that introduce a form of the Right to Be Forgotten in the United States will be well-designed. I am committed to striking a balance between the First Amendment’s free speech principles and the right to privacy, consumer rights, anti-discrimination law, protection from online disinformation, and internet companies’ accountability. Such balance is at the core of the future of the Internet, as has been recently demonstrated in debates around fake news and targeted political ads on social media. I believe that inevitably, a form of the Right to Be Forgotten in the U.S. will follow these developments in Internet regulations. 

Right2Remove is currently looking for researchers to work for a few hours a week. The right candidate will work on the outreach of the community and further investigate all developments of privacy and consumer rights in the United States to inform the campaign and its policy making. This position is ideal for researchers interested in social justice, human rights, and generally Internet regulation. This is a paid job opportunity and volunteers are also welcomed.
If interested, please e-mail us at [email protected]

NYS RTBF Legislation Summary and Update
 

Right2Remove recently spoke again with the New York City Internet and computer law attorney who has been spearheading and driving forward the NYS Right to Be Forgotten (“RTBF”) bill and proposed legislation, which the Right2Remove aims to support. The original bill was introduced by Assemblymember David Weprin and his Chief of Staff works directly with many supporters of a revised RTBF bill.

Below is a short summary of the bill and an update regarding its current status, next steps, and also how you can help.
 
The original NYS RTBF bill was introduced in 2016 with language that was taken directly from the original landmark RTBF rulings in Europe a copy of the original NYS RTBF is available online here:
https://nyassembly.gov/leg/?bn=A10466&term=2015&Summary=Y&Text=Y

And at least seven supporting and very persuasive letters, memoranda, and law review articles were filed and submitted to the New York State legislature in support of the original RTBF bill. You can read and download these seven supporting documents here:
https://bit.ly/NYS-RTBF-Supporting-Memoranda
 
However, some people have expressed concern that the original NYS RTBF bill language utilized the European RTBF policy generalization of “inaccurate”, “irrelevant”, “inadequate” or “excessive” online content. This E.U. language arguably was too vague and imprecise under United States legal principles, including the First Amendment.

Although many legal experts and commentators have pointed out that the First Amendment does not apply to Google’s nor to other company’s search indexes, because those companies all have confirmed and formally taken the position that they are not “publishers” (i.e., speakers), but, rather, only, indexers. That is, as Google asserts that is not liable for Internet defamation and libel, because it claims that it is not a publisher, but “only an indexer,” then, conversely, Google cannot seek to maintain that its search engine is protected by the First Amendment, which applies only to those who speak and/or publish.
 
Accordingly, and to overcome any such objections, the sponsors and supporters of the NYS RTBF bill will be reintroducing an amended and revised bill that specifically sets forth the precise categories of online information to which the revised and amended NYS RTBF bill would apply. The current working draft of those 15 specific categories is very similar to the Right2Remove list drafted already in 2016.
 
Regarding next steps, the NYS RTBF bill sponsors and supporters presently are seeking assistance regarding legislative language drafting, as well as additional input from Internet law experts and RTBF supporters. They also are seeking reasonable financial support from donors in order to help fund the relatively modest costs of legislative drafting and lobbying.
 
If you would like to help and support the NYS RTBF bill in any or all of the above ways, please e-mail us at [email protected], and we will introduce you to the aforementioned NYC law attorneys so that, together, we can push the bill forward.


Press Releases signed by Paolo Cirio and the Right2Remove team:
https://Right2Remove.us/who

Email for press and general inquiries:
[email protected]

Twitter for the Right to Remove:
https://twitter.com/Right2Remove
Youtube for the Right to Remove:
https://youtube.com/watch?list=PLJHWosFmMRqofm03UvU8_0tLKopTXKOra&v=yFQV9H93mJ4  
Petition for the Right to Remove:
https://change.org/p/introducing-the-right-to-remove-personal-information-from-search-engines-in-the-us