In a recent decision of the National Civil Chamber of Appeals, an Argentine court enforced, for the first time, the right to be forgotten, in re "Denegri, Natalia Ruth v. Google Inc. over very personal rights".
In 2014, Google Spain SL, Google Inc v Agencia Española de Protección de Datos, Mario Costeja González (2014) was the first case in Europe dealing with this issue.
In 2018, The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) included the right to be forgotten. Said right provides that EU citizens may request that sensitive personal information about them found in links to pages or websites be removed. The person affected by this data can make the request orally or in writing; the requested party has one month to respond to the appeal.
Despite the fact that Argentina has a reasonable Personal Data Protection law (which follows the European model), and different provisions scattered throughout the Civil and Commercial Code, the Copyright Law, and others, it does not expressly provide for this right.
In the mentioned case, the judges ordered Google to erase all links to the search engine, as well as the words "Natalia Denegri", "Natalia Ruth Denegri", and "Natalia Denegri caso Coppola", as well as any possible images or video recorded 20 years before, from the YouTube platform.
The plaintiff requested this action specifically in relation to information and video recordings on TV during the 90s, which she considered old, irrelevant and unnecessary for the public opinion, but at the same time, damaged her image, reputation, and very personal rights. She argued that those images and videos were recorded in the course of a criminal investigation "set up" in an illegal manner when she was a minor. Moreover, she stated that nowadays said images and information hold no interest for the public opinion.
This controversy pushed two constitutional rights to the forefront: the right to the protection of image and personal data against the right to access information.
Coincidentally, in a recent case, Google v. the French data protection authority (CNIL), the European Court of Justice decided that Google had to apply the right to be forgotten only in European jurisdiction. Thus, Google would apparently need to remove links from its search results in Europe, and not outside EU territory, after receiving the corresponding request.
It is now up to Google to appeal or not the decision to the Supreme Court of Justice. In the affirmative, we will have a relevant precedent from the Supreme Court on a very interesting legal issue, which, in turn, may hold sway over other Latin America countries.
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