You’d better forget the right to be forgotten in Canada
David T.S. FraserFootnote 1
Note: This submission was contributed by the author(s) to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Consultation on Online Reputation.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
This discussion paper is intended to address the following question put forward in the OPC’s consultation paper on online reputation: “Can the right to be forgotten find application in the Canadian context and, if so, how?” The author is of the view that the right to be forgotten cannot be shoehorned into existing privacy law because search engines do not come within the scope of PIPEDA and the activity of indexing newsworthy content online is subject to the journalism exception in PIPEDA. Furthermore, any attempt to compel a search engine to not include particular results—particularly pointing to lawful content—fall afoul of the freedom of expression right under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The paper concludes with some additional thoughts that will need to be factored into the discussion of the right to be forgotten in Canada.
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