Monday, November 3, 2014

Pianist Asks To Remove Review Under "Right To Be Forgotten" Ruling

Dejan Lazic image
Did you ever get a review that you hated (or hated you) that you wanted removed? That's what happened to pianist Dejan Lazic, who received a less-than-flattering review in the Washington Post way back in 2010. Lazic, who lives in Zagreb, Croatia, decided to fight back by invoking the little known "Right To Be Forgotten" rule in the EU to get the the newspaper to remove the review from its website.

It wasn't the review itself that hurt, according to Lazic. It was the fact that it showed up on the first page of a Google search for the last 4 years that he claims is detrimental to his career.

What's more, he does have some legal standing here. The European Union has ruled that individuals have the right to their personal information, so they should also have control over their personal search results. If your name comes up in a search and the links turn out to "inadequate, irrelevant or ........ excessive," an EU court ruled that you should be able to ask the search engine to remove them.

The problem is that the court ruled that the newspaper doesn't actually have to remove the review, since they own it. Google and other search engines, on the other hand, must remove the review from their search listings, and they have.

In the end, this might have been a just a great PR stunt. Most of the links on a Lazic search refer to him asking to remove the review, and his name certainly got out there a lot more from this incident than from his performances.

Still, most people don't know about the "right to be forgotten" rule in Europe, so it's worth noting if ever needed. That said, this doesn't apply in the US - at least not yet.


Bill Cammack said...

That's ridiculous. You have no right to be forgotten.

andabeat said...

This is stretching the intention of the law. I can't see this going very far in North America.

Peter McDonald said...

From my understanding Google are not obliged to remove upon request they are meant to review the request to check if it is merited.

Google however have made a point of removing upon request to make a point.


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