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US diplomat: If EU allows ‘right to be forgotten’ … it might spark TRADE WAR – The Register


US diplomat warns of “trade war” if “right to be forgotten” proposals in Europe are followed through.

The introduction of planned changes to EU data protection laws could herald a trans-Atlantic “trade war”, a US diplomat has warned.

John Rodgers, economic Officer in the US Foreign Service, said that “things could really explode” if proposals that would provide individuals with a qualified ‘right to be forgotten’ are backed within the EU.

“We have a right to privacy in our Constitution, but this does not mean a fundamental right to data protection,” Rodgers said at a conference in Berlin, according to a report by German publication Heise Online.

In January last year the European Commission unveiled proposals to reform EU data protection laws by introducing a draft General Data Protection Regulation. If enforced, it would introduce a single data protection law across all 27 EU member states, whilst companies that process personal data of EU citizens from outside the borders of the trading bloc, including in the US, would also be subject to the rules.

Under the draft Regulation individuals would enjoy a qualified ‘right to be forgotten’. That right would enable them to force organisations to delete personal data stored about them “without delay”. Organisations that have made the data public would be liable for the data published by third parties and would be required to “take all reasonable steps, including technical measures” to inform those groups to delete the information.


Let’s get this straight.

What the EU proposes for EU citizens, within Europe, is not the concern of  US corporations.

We, the people of Europe, might agree with the EU – that the right to be forgotten is a fundamental and critical right.


The EU found that a quarter of all job applications were going in the bin after the employer checked a Facebook profile.  So the fastest way to stay unemployed, to fail to get an interview, lose your job or to end your career, is your Facebook profile.The right to be forgotten, would help you, directly, to maintain your job, career etc.  Which is why the EU has proposed it.  Your job, is far more important that the profits of Facebook or Twitter.

This time, the trade war might be supported by the citizens of Europe – so those American Corporations had better stop trying to throw their weight around.  Our jobs and long term careers are on the line without the right to be forgotten.

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