Catches to the right to be forgotten, looking from an administrative law perspective to data processing by public authorities

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Public authorities process personal data. In most cases these data are processed because there is a legal obligation to do so, or because processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. The right to be forgotten or to erasure will, in this situation, play a limited role in the protection of the rights of the individual. There is even a public interest in maintaining archives, thus in not forgetting. At the same time, the possibility exists that not forgetting might be more valuable for the protection of rights of data subjects then forgetting. In the case of data processing by public authorities, it is important that the processing is based on a law. A close watch should be held on the grounds that public authorities use to justify the processing. As the right to be forgotten will play a limited role in the protection of the rights of data subjects in the case of data processed by public authorities, it is important to emphasize the right of access and rectification of data. It is therefore essential that the controller is transparent to the public with regard to the processing of data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Review of Law, Computers & Technology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • right to be forgotten, public authorities, archives

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