This paper will be investigate to what extent the right to be forgotten as proposed by the European Commission is already recognized in Dutch tort law. The focus of this paper will be on the existence and the desirability of such a right and not on questions of enforcement. It is submitted that although Dutch law does not recognize the right to be forgotten as such, several judicial decisions can be identified that afford protection to interests that are also protected by the proposed right to be forgotten. This indicates that in the Netherlands a right to be forgotten in some form or another might have developed over time but this would have been a lengthy affair. A more precise formulation of this right by the legislator is therefore welcomed. It has been remarked that the name ‘right to be forgotten’ may give rise to unrealistic expectations but the Dutch experience shows that people do not seem to be very aware of their rights. ‘A right to be forgotten’ – however imprecise from a legal viewpoint – might be catchy enough to remedy this.
AJ Verheija, The right to be forgotten – a Dutch perspective. International Review of Law, Computers and Technology. DOI: 10.1080/13600869.2015.1125156. Published online: 18 Feb 2016.