The most colorful assertion of the EU legislation is the so-called “right to be forgotten.” Some question whether anyone really has the power to erase all traces of data, even if a user wants them to.
“[A]re we really responsible for going to find every cached copy that may have filtered out there?” Microsoft’s Ronald Zink wondered aloud. “What is the obligation beyond our set of properties? It’s hard to know how you would pull back all the copies of a given piece of content.” Zink has been making the rounds, also telling FT, for instance, that the proposals may be “too prescriptive.”
Others had wondered whether the “right to be forgotten” could be used as a form of censorship, if applied to members of the press. But Reding has since addressed that concern, stating, “The archives of a newspaper are a good example. It is clear that the right to be forgotten cannot amount to a right of the total erasure of history.” Data security is hugely important: too important not to legislate, while too important to rush into legislation. Perhaps it’s a good thing, then, that the EU’s legislative process reportedly might last up to two years.