Why big data could sink Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten’


Europe’s proposed ‘right to be forgotten’ has been the subject of intense debate, with many people arguing it’s simply not practical in the age of the internet for any data to be reliably expunged from history.

Well, add another voice to that mix. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has published its assessment of the proposals, and the tone is sceptical to say the least. And, interestingly, one of the biggest problems ENISA has found has to do with big data.

The European Commission‘s proposals define the sort of data that has to be erased (if the data subject asks for it) in more than one way. Without wishing to get into comparison of various sections’ wording, here’s what ENISA has to say:

“[The definitions] leave to interpretation whether [personal data] includes information that can be used to identify a person with high probability but not…

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