This report describes the laws of twelve jurisdictions that have some form of remedy available enabling the removal of online data based on harm to individuals’ privacy or reputational interests, including but not limited to defamation. Six of the countries surveyed are within the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area, and therefore have implemented EU law. Five non-EU jurisdictions are also surveyed.
Comparative analysis across jurisdictions presents terminological challenges, because legal language across jurisdictions seems at times to conflate concepts that could be considered analytically distinct. EU law, for example, uses the phrases “right to erasure” and the “right to be forgotten” synonymously, eliding the difference between the right to remedy incorrect or incomplete data in source documents and the right to have search results delisted irrespective of whether the underlying source material is altered or removed.