Digital Immortality vs. “The Right to be Forgotten”: A Comparison of U.S. and E.U. Laws Concerning Social Media Privacy
AbstractThis paper examines the contrast between United States and European Union laws concerning social media users’ right to remove their online presence permanently. Currently, the United States and European Union represent two distinct approaches to the right of individuals to permanently remove personal content from social media. U.S. law favors social media companies keeping profile content within the digital sphere even when that person no longer wants it there. The European Union’s approach social media privacy gives users more rights to remove themselves entirely from social media permanently (General Data Protection Regulation, Article 17, 2012). Using Myres McDougal’s (1959) legal theory of international laws’ effect on national policy, this legal study examines the social media privacy laws of the United States and European Union concerning user control of personal content. From this analysis, future implications of this international conflict, specifically the legal delineation of public and private spheres in the 21st Century, are suggested.
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