San Diego International Law Journal


Ashley Stenning

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Comment will explore the right to be forgotten, how it is recognized in the European Union, and the trend toward the existence of such a right in the United States. Additionally, this comment will discuss how the right to be forgotten could lessen the impact data breaches have on individuals through the lens of the Ashley Madison hack. Lastly, this comment will discuss how, if the United States narrowed the scope of the European Union’s concept of the right to be forgotten to fit into the United States’ view of privacy and the First Amendment, the impact of data breaches would decrease.
Part I will discuss the origins of the right to be forgotten and its developments and use in the European Union. It will also discuss potential developments both in the United States and around the globe. Part II will discuss data breaches in general, give background on the recent Ashley Madison data breach, and analyze the wide-reaching effects the data breach had on individuals and the company. Part III will introduce how a right to be forgotten could prevent the negative and wide-reaching effects of data breaches. Part IV will consider how to bridge the gap between the differing privacy ideals in the EU and the United States. Lastly, Part V will propose how the right to be forgotten can be altered to fit American values and the American legal framework, and will suggest both legislative and non-legislative ways the right to be forgotten could exist in the United States.