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Article

Right to Be Forgotten in the European Union and Russia: Comparison and Criticism

Pravo. Zhurnal Vysshey shkoly ekonomiki. 2015. No. 3. P. 181-193.

In July, 2015, the Russian President signed Law No. 264-FZ which grants to Russian citizens the right to request delisting of search results which link to inaccurate or irrelevant information about them (“the right to be forgotten”). According to its drafters, the law is expected to adapt Russian law to the European practice. This article recounts the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Google Spain v. AEPD and Mario Costeja González, the case which inspired Law No. 264-FZ, and analyses commonalities and differences between the judgment of the Court of Justice and Law No. 264-FZ.The decision in Google Spain v. AEPD and Mario Costeja González was decided with reference to the principles contained in the data protection legislation. Guided by these principles, the Court of Justice of the European Union sought to strike a balance between the individual’s right to privacy and right of the public to access the information. As a consequence, search engine operators in the European Union are not obliged to remove search results if there is the preponderant interest of the general public in having access to the information in question. In contrast, Law No. 264-FZ is not based on data protection principles and introduced the sui generis right to request delisting of search results. The law contains a number of differences from the decision in Google Spain v. AEPD and Mario Costeja González. Most critically, Law No. 264-FZ fails to give due consideration to the public’s right to access information and does not contain a similar general exception from delisting of search results.