Tuesday, October 7, 2014

LD Nov/Dec 2014 - Right to Be Forgotten - Negative Position

Resolved: The "right to be forgotten" from Internet searches ought to be a civil right.

For part 1 of this series, click here.


The most obvious position for the Negative is the right to be forgotten should not be a civil right but such a position begs another question, if not a civil right then what? Should it be - uhm - "forgotten?"

I mean, if anyone of us were in a position where certain information about us was circulating on the Internet which harms one's evaluation of our character and that rogue bit of information was somehow no longer relevant to our present life, we may wish for a way to remove it.  Indeed, for you more experienced debaters, think of Rawls' Original Position in his theory of justice. In fact, do not be surprised when Affirmative debaters are running Rawls' 'veil of ignorance' against you. The question is, is making the right to be forgotten a civil right, and perhaps we should expand that to universal civil right, really necessary? Perhaps there could be alternate solutions.  Bear in mind, in Europe, the right to be forgotten is already a civil right and more and more nations are beginning to agree it should be and many are claiming the basis of the right is rooted in the concept of natural rights based in the right of property.

If I own a property (any kind of object, thing, piece of information) and put it on display for public enjoyment, enlightenment, or scrutiny, I still retain the rights to it and should have the right to pull it back into the private realm at any time I choose. That is sort of what the Affirmative may be claiming. However, in the EU, it seems the laws have taken it a step farther and the regulations "are not limited to personal data that people “have given out themselves”; instead, they create a new right to delete personal data, defined broadly as “any information relating to a data subject.” For this reason, they arguably create a legally enforceable right to demand the deletion of any photos or data that I post myself, even after they’ve gone viral, not to mention unflattering photos that include me or information about me that others post, whether or not it is true" (Rosen 2012).

But that is the EU and we are the U.S. and according to many of the values and laws we hold dear we see things a little differently which favor the Negative position (for sure as U.S.-based Lincoln-Douglas debaters we see both sides of the issue equally). In the U.S. there exists a very strong desire to protect the right of free speech. The old saying is, "I may not agree with what you are saying but I will defend to the death your right to say it," is rooted in what the founding fathers viewed as one of the most important rights in that it, along with the right vote, provides a means to check the abuses of government and freedom of speech is a major component of liberal democracies and the principle that everyone has a voice.

So what happens if Affirmative does argue the right to be forgotten is a natural right and thus inalienable.  In the U.S. we hold certain rights to be inalienable but even those rights can be suspended when it serves a greater public interest.  Look to many examples in the so-called right of eminent domain, or internment camps for U.S. citizens during the Second World War. In the U.S. all forms of Internet expression are considered speech (this does not include illegal activity like spamming, hacking or hijacking other sites) and thus protected by the U.S. constitution. As I mentioned in part one of this topic (see link above) there is a clash of rights in that the right to be forgotten, clashes with the right to free speech in the U.S. where many of the Internet search giants are located. It clashes with the right of a search engine provider like Google to provide links and it clashes with the right of the host site to display the disputed information.

For those of you interested in Google's position in this debate, you may be interested in reading this document. In particular, question 4.

In the first section below we will examine several lines of argument dealing with the burdens of rights on liberal societies, discuss the practicality of a right and touch upon principles of "ought implies can". In the second section, I will very briefly discuss the fact that cultural diversity may make the right meaningless in some locales.  Finally I will talk about how common values are protected by the Negative position.

The Burden of Rights

The theory of rights can be conceptualized in different ways and indeed several philosophers have their own ideas about what it means to have a right.  For most of us, a civil right is an entitlement to an individual which limits others from infringing upon the one possessing the right.  However, typically for governments, there is a utilitarian aspect to the concept of rights which tends to weigh the importance of the right to an individual against the burden of the limits it imposes on the majority.

Waldron (1989):
...a person may be said to have a right if and only if some aspect of her well-being (some interest of hers) is sufficiently important in itself to justify holding some other person or persons to be under a duty. Thus, when A is said to have a right to free speech, part of what is claimed is that her interest in speaking out freely is sufficiently important in itself from a moral point of view to justify holding other people, particularly the government, to have duties not to place her under any restrictions or penalties in this regard. On this conception, basing duties on rights is quite a different matter from basing them on general utility. For a utilitarian, the government's duty to let someone speak out is never inferred merely from the importance of the interest that the individual person herself has in the matter; rather it is inferred from a calculus that relates the importance of that interest to the importance of every other interest that may be affected by the imposition of the duty. By contrast, a theory of rights bases its commitment to the practice on the good to each individual, taken one by one, of being able to speak her mind freely. In other words, A's right to free speech is based on the importance of A's interest in the matter, B's right is based on the importance of B's interest, C's on that of C, and so on; whereas for the utilitarian, free speech for A may be justified only through a calculus of the interests that A and B and C and everyone else have at stake in the matter.

Consider if a right to three full meals for individuals is claimed. While such a right may be in the best interest of individuals, it places an enormous burden on governments, food services, etc. to guarantee the right and would be impossible in some parts of the world. It may be appropriate in parts of Europe to claim people have a right to universal health-care when the nation is able to meet the financial burden of the request and is capable of erecting the required infrastructure to grant the right.  It may never be considered a human right or universal civil right since, many nations could never meet the need.

Waldron (1989):
This point is important for evaluating what critics sometimes say about welfare rights. Sometimes it is said that there is no human right to welfare (education, a decent standard of living, medical care, a job, holidays with pay, etc.) because these are not goods that can be secured in poor countries for everyone. 

This, of course, raises another very important issue for the Negative with respect to the ability to grant rights to individuals.  As stated by Waldron, "If it is impossible for a thing to be done, it is absurd to claim it as a right."

At face value, it sounds rather trivial to claim an individual has a right to be forgotten and so search engines or data providers have a duty to adhere to the requirements of the individual right.  But, when one grants this right to an aggregate; a population of individuals, the complexity of the imposed duty expands accordingly.

Waldron (1989):
The problems posed by scarcity and underdevelopment only arise when we take all the claims of right together. It is not the duties in each individual case which demand the impossible (as it would be, e.g., if we talked about a right to happiness or something like that); rather it is the combination of all the duties taken together which cannot be fulfilled. But one of the important features of rights discourse is that rights are attributed to individuals one by one, not collectively or in the aggregate.'

The Negative side of this issue reminds the judge to not ignore the tendency to view the issue not just as an individual right, but as duty to protect the rights of a population for 10's of thousands of individuals, perhaps millions, perhaps billions and what would be the cumulative effect on those charged with executing the required duties?

In addition, these duties, taken in the aggregate, impose additional duties.  Negative rights granted to one, implies a duty for others to protect the rights of the one.  These kinds of rights put limitations on the liberties of others who are now duty-bound to not violate the rights of the one and that duty leads to the imposition of other duties.

Waldron (1989):
We talk about rights when we think that some interest of an individual has sufficient moral importance to justify holding others to be under a duty to serve it. But if a given interest has that degree of importance, it is unlikely that it will justify the imposition of just one duty. Interests are complicated things. There are many ways in which a given interest can be served or disserved, and we should not expect to find that only one of those ways is singled out and made the subject matter of a duty. For example, if an individual's interest in speaking freely is important enough to justify holding the government to be under a duty not to impose a regime of political censorship, it is likely also to be sufficiently important to generate other duties: a duty to protect those who make speeches in public from the wrath of those who are disturbed by what they say; a duty to establish rules of order so that possibilities for public speech do not evaporate in the noise of several loudspeakers vying for the attention of the same audience; and so on.

We can cross-apply Waldron's example to include protection of the right to be forgotten. If the right induces a duty to delete undesired references to an individual, it is reasonable to assume it would induce additional duties upon governing bodies or at minimum the owners of every blog, news source, social media site, information producer, etc., to review all information or depictions to be published and eliminate those which violate the civic duty to protect select individuals. At this point we enter the realm of full-blown censorship. The burden created by the right weighs unfavorably against utilitarian consideration of limitations of others and would be difficult if not impossible to fully carry out.

I will wrap this section up with a very brief mention of Immanuel Kant who in his famous work, Critique of Pure Reason, states "The action to which the "ought" applies must indeed be possible under natural conditions."  I simply don't buy the common belief that ought and should are synonymous terms.  Why do we have two words?  As commonly defined, ought implies duty or obligation and while I think it pushes the definition to claim it implies a moral obligation in this context, I think as Kant suggests (for this Negative position, at least) the duty implicit in ought exists only when it is possible to perform the duty.  As seen above, there are several reasons we can apply which argues the duty is not possible to perform due to cascading burdens, utilitarian principles or simply because the accumulation of requests would swamp the right to free speech.

Universal Rights?

The resolution does not specify a particular country or locale where the right to be forgotten should be a civil right. One assumes we are debating a universal civil right based on the concept of human dignity which drives the establishment of most universal human rights. However, some cultures do not recognize human existence and thus, dignity outside of the context of a public sphere, hence the notion of privacy is not a overarching value for these cultures. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assume universal status for the right to be forgotten.

DeHert & Gutwirth (2004):
Very often it is said that human rights have a strong ethical footing. They are not about biological individual human beings, but about something more. Some legal texts on human rights emphasise the development of the 'person'. Other texts hold that human rights are based on 'human dignity'. The dignity of the human person is not only a fundamental right in itself but seemingly also constitutes the ultimate basis of fundamental rights. Without any doubt, this protection of 'something more' by human rights serves legitimate purposes, but it may lead to a conception of human rights too restricted to be of universal validity. It is questionable whether the notion of personhood in the German constitution has many affinities with a conception of personhood existing within, for instance, African or Asian societies where there is less emphasis on the individual. In certain African tribes there is no existence of a person outside the group. Does this mean that there can be no protection of human rights in such a society? What is wrong with extending protection beyond individual biological human beings? The same question of universal validity can be asked about the use of 'human dignity' as an ethical notion, borrowed from Christianity. Within the Western World there is no consensus on the necessity of this notion, so why export it to other cultures?
It is a very interesting philosophical idea that perhaps humans are not really human withdrawn from the context of a public sphere. The idea that some cultures may hold that dignity is possibly realized in social settings is reasonable and argues against the idea dignity is preserved in privacy. It is food for thought.

Negative Values

Given the ideas posted above, I believe it should be fairly easy to defend the value of liberty, especially when one considers the restrictions on free expression imposed by the right to be forgotten. One can also extend the argument to a value of justice in that the burden on the many carries more weight than personal interests in the right to be forgotten. One may also look to the societal values of fairness as already mentioned with justice. Also one could potentially argue for the value of democratic ideals based on the universal human right of free expression and its compatibility with democratic principles.  Finally I think a reasonable case can be made for the duty of governments under the social contract by upholding utilitarian evaluations when balancing the burden of permitting individual rights.

In this post I have once again avoided legal arguments because I think the legal issues are complex and perhaps unresolvable,

Good luck, debaters.  There is a lot of room in this topic for purely analytic positions, which can be interesting if done well.


Charney, E. (1999) Cultural Interpretation and Universal Human Rights: A Response to Daniel A. Bell, Political Theory, Vol. 27, No. 6 (Dec., 1999), pp. 840-848.

DE HERT, P. & GUTWIRTH, S. (2004), Rawls' political conception of rights and liberties. An unliberal but pragmatic approach to the problems of harmonisation and globalisation. Epistemology and Methodology of Comparative Law, pp.317 - 357, eds. VAN HOECKE M., published by Hart Publishing.

Rosen, J. The right to be forgotten, 2012, Stanford Law Review (64 Stan. L. Rev. Online 88)

Waldron, J. (1989) Rights in conflict, Ethics, Vol. 99, No. 3. (Apr., 1989), pp. 503-519

Sunday, October 5, 2014

LD Nov/Dec 2014 - Right to be Forgotten - Affirmative Position

Resolved: The "right to be forgotten" from Internet searches ought to be a civil right.

For part 1 of this series, click here.


I think there can be real value to taking a very high level approach to this resolution. By this, I mean one can take a position based on a conceptual definition of "right to be forgotten" that is not specific as to how such a right would be implemented. Maybe we really don't need to care if the "right to be forgotten" means certain things, or everything is deleted from searches and it may allow the Affirmative to slide over legal arguments which tend to get very specific and will vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Really this is what makes the Internet such a tough arena for rule/law enforcement. The Internet spans every cultural and ideological boundary on the planet and unless people can universally agree that some content (such as child exploitation or dangerous extremism) should have no means of expression, one is unlikely to see a particular form of filtering gain world-wide acceptance.

Affirmative defends the conclusion the right to be forgotten ought to be a civil right, nothing more. The enforceability of such a conclusion need not be an issue considering there are other "civil rights" valued by the international community which are not enforced in every jurisdiction.  Look at the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and you should realize there are many "rights" which are denied people around the world, but it does not mean the right is not a valid right.

I guess if we are going to talk about legitimate civil rights (whether universally enforceable or not) we will need to understand the scope.  A right is basically an entitlement granted by an authority and in this world there are many, many authorities. A 'civil' right is understood to be an entitlement granted to citizens by a government.  Now, since we are talking about a right with respect to Internet searches, it is logical the authority must have some kind of jurisdiction over the Internet or more properly, access to information on the Internet. That begs the question, which entity has jurisdiction over the Internet.

Rosenblatt (undated):
Under the current system, in order to decide what state's or nation's laws govern disputes that arise over Internet issues, a court first must decide "where" Internet conduct takes place, and what it means for Internet activity to have an "effect" within a state or nation. Even apart from the Internet, this border-centric view of the law creates certain difficulties in an economy moving toward globalization.  Entire bodies of law have been developed by every nation to deal with the resolution of international conflicts of law, conflicts that arise when geography and citizenship would allow a dispute to be decided by the laws of more than one country, and the laws of those countries are not consistent with each other.  Conflicts of law are particularly likely to arise in cyberspace, where the location of an occurrence is never certain, where ideological differences are likely to create conflicting laws, and where rules are made not only by nations and their representatives, but also by sub-national and transnational institutions.

The European Union (EU) took action in 2012 requiring the deletion of non-relevant personal information if requested. A key distinction is, the EU views the information posted online as "data" owned by the subject of the data, whereas, in the U.S. such postings are expressions of free speech. (Stuart 2014).

Stuart (2014):
The primary problem with the application of a right to be forgotten in the United States is that any information posted online is considered speech, including compiled information from a search engine, and any effort to delete such information other than by the original poster implicates the speech of search engines. The First Amendment strongly protects such speech from any limitation. In addition, the Communications Decency Act and its safe harbor immunize Internet service providers from liability with respect to speech of websites.

As pointed out by Stuart, the idea that filtered search results is censorship is really ignorance of that fact that all searches are filtered by a number of proprietary criteria which not only eliminates some listings (mainly due to copyright infringements) but orders the sequence in which they appear. With that understanding, this debate is not about censorship per se. Technologically, it may not be a major problem for a search service such as Google to filter "data" or "speech" since it is already done but Google has consistently rejected removal requests except under U.S. court order. In the EU where, this right currently exists, it is the court that decides whether or not an individual's request for removal from Internet searches is proper, meaning a court will evaluate the individual's so-called "right of personality" (equivalent to publicity right) against the public's right to know and decide if the removal is justified in situations where Google refused to cooperate. Google is a U.S. corporation not under EU jurisdiction, even though Google does have a business interest in at least considering the EU court requests on a case-by-case basis. It is not about individuals going to Google and saying, "take me off your search engine results." The requests are carefully evaluated and courts intervene when necessary.

So this, is the crux of the jurisdictional and ideological debate which essentially pits the EU protection of the right to privacy against the U.S. protection of the right to free speech and for this reason, while I think taking on the legal ramifications is a legitimate strategy for any LD debater, I think it may be possible to run the debate on more of a philosophical framework which leaves the legal details and implementation for another day and another debate.

Here is a road-map to possible paths for the Affirmative:
Based on a general right to personality (publicity - see below) we focus on privacy and identify other values.

  1. We introduce an argument repressing the right to personality harms the need for safety which prevents the attainment of self-actualization. This can be expanded to dehumanization.
  2. We explore the notion personality is personal property, thus a preeminent natural right.
  3. We argue that human dignity is protected by permitting one to express their personality as they desire and thus fulfills the need for self-actualization.
  4. The argument is developed that privacy is a prerequisite for autonomy and freedom and a mechanism for achieving self-actualization.

What We Value

The Affirmative seeks to protect a number of important values derived or related to an individual's desire to maintain a certain anonymity or more properly the individual's desire to have some control over what is exposed to public scrutiny. Whether or not privacy is a right is a question of law.  One may think they have a right to privacy but in many jurisdictions it is implicit or not guaranteed.  Nevertheless, almost universally, individuals value privacy, and as with most values, the sphere encompassed by the value of privacy is broad and difficult to define.

DeCew (2013):
The public/private distinction is also sometimes taken to refer to the appropriate realm of governmental authority as opposed to the realm reserved for self-regulation, along the lines described by John Stuart Mill in his essay, On Liberty. Furthermore, the distinction arises again in Locke's discussion of property in his Second Treatise on Government. In the state of nature all the world's bounty is held in common and is in that sense public. But one possesses oneself and one's own body, and one can also acquire property by mixing one's labor with it, and in these cases it is one's private property. Margaret Mead and other anthropologists have demonstrated the ways various cultures protect privacy through concealment, seclusion or by restricting access to secret ceremonies (Mead, 1949). Alan Westin (1967) has surveyed studies of animals demonstrating that a desire for privacy is not restricted to humans. However, what is termed private in these multiple contexts varies. Privacy can refer to a sphere separate from government, a domain inappropriate for governmental interference, forbidden views and knowledge, solitude, or restricted access, to list just a few.

In her essay on "Privacy", DeCew recognises the contribution of Jurists Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis' Harvard Law Review article, "The Right to Privacy" (1890) which argued for "a general right of immunity of the person, “the right to one's personality”...Warren and Brandeis thus laid the foundation for a concept of privacy that has come to be known as control over information about oneself" (DeCew 2013). While Warren and Brandeis may be credited with establishing a pragmatic standard for future legal consideration, it is the concept of the "right of personality" which allows the Affirmative to isolate important values.

Weber (2011):
In Continental Europe, the right to be forgotten can be considered as being contained in the right of the personality, encompassing several elements such as dignity, honor, and the right to private life. Manifold terminologies are used in the context of the right of personality – mainly the right for the (moral and legal) integrity of a person not to be infringed and for a sphere of privacy to be maintained and distinguished. The (privacy) right to indeed keep certain things secret has already been arguably extended to the right of Internet users not to make their activity trails available to third persons. Essentially, rightholders are relying on their own autonomy to individually decide on the possible use of their own data.  

As Weber adequately reveals, the values of dignity, honor, privacy, and autonomy are at the core of this issue. In fact, one could argue nearly all values uniquely cherished by individuals are generally linked to self-determination and many are specifically linked to privacy and individualism from the public sphere.

A Hierarchy of Needs

It was psychologist Abraham Maslow who postulated the famous "hierarchy of needs" commonly visualized as a pyramid built upon the broad-base of physiological needs, progressing step-wise through security and social needs and culminating in the need for self-actualization. Maslow's theory or variants of it are useful for describing how the individual values are connected to fundamental human needs. In many ways unwanted exposure in the public-sphere disturbs our sense of personal safety and certainly the nature of information revealed in the public-sphere has a direct impact on our needs for self-esteem and respect as human beings. The arguments linking needs and the right to be forgotten are mainly pragmatic but some scholars recognize the effect of technological advancement on the ability to fulfill needs.

Marcinkowski (2013):
One may of course argue that the issue of personal data protection is an intellectual exercise for developed and affluent Western societies, while limitations to or complete loss of informational privacy is an inevitable cost of innovation and development of a society. In my view, however, such underestimation of the issue is improper, as it undermines the basic values that are fundamental to a free and democratic society (this issue will be discussed more in the latter part of this Article). Rapidly advancing technological revolution is, paraphrasing Abraham Maslow, a catalyst of changes, from which a new image of the human being, society, science, basic values, and philosophy emerge, while privacy—including informational privacy in particular—is located among basic needs, which are part of a wider need of safety (that are placed just above basic physiological needs). 

Understanding the hierarchical nature of needs attainment explains the potentially dehumanizing effect loss of privacy imparts on victims.  A person struggling to attain those needs on the bottom of the needs hierarchy (i.e. safety) cannot advance to higher levels of attainment. Ernst Cassirer (1963) famously stated:
There is, at least, one right that cannot be ceded or abandoned: the right to personality...They charged the great logician [Hobbes] with a contradiction in terms. If a man could give up his personality he would cease being a moral being. ... There is no pactum subjectionis, no act of submission by which man can give up the state of free agent and enslave himself. For by such an act of renunciation he would give up that very character which constitutes his nature and essence: he would lose his humanity.

The Philosophy of Personality

John Locke, in the Two Treatises of Government claimed all humans have an inalienable right to life, liberty and property (Tuckness 2012). Property can be described as things external to humans arising from creation, including the innate ability of humans to create. Hegel includes the abstract right of personality as significant in distinguishing humans from mere things and the right is expressed in the exercise of freedom. Hegel claims a person expresses freedom externally by appropriating objects and the expression of one's personality is also an object to be owned. As explained by Duquette (undated) "Property is the embodiment of personality and of freedom. Not only can a person put his or her will into something external through the taking possession of it and of using it, but one can also alienate property or yield it to the will of another, including the ability to labor for a restricted period of time. One's personality is inalienable and one's right to personality imprescriptible." Thus, I would interpret Hegel's view as one that ascribes personality to the inalienable right of property.

Oreg 2012:
This notion, for example, can justify the right to property. By controlling physical objects the person can realize his personality in the outside world. This notion similarly justifies the right to identity. ... Without information identity, a person cannot externalize his personality beyond his own consciousness. A person whose identity is not conceived by others can only connect with the physical world – he can hold objects, operate them, and walk across the land – but he cannot exteriorize himself in a manner in which minds other than his own give meaning to things. Only his mind conceives himself. Only it gives him meaning and purpose. He is therefore restricted to his inner dimension, which is narrow (in its singular perspective) and of limited duration (his lifetime).

Thus one exists in the minds of others as an external expression of one's personality and even though that existence is abstract (a mental image in the mind of others), one retains the ownership of that abstract expression and that is an inalienable right and nothing should deprive us of our inalienable rights.

The Philosophy of Dignity

Closely connected to the abstract concept of the right to personality is dignity which can be described as the external projection of one's status. Such status may specifically arise from selection to a particular position or office in society but more generally as status from being uniquely human without regard to any externality such as offices, positions or honors given us by others. Thus, dignity is not something to be bestowed upon someone rather it is an internal expression of one's human identity projected to the outside world. It is an owned expression of personality and thus, as we have shown above, inalienable.

Eberle (2013):
From the perspective of an individual, dignity might be thought of as the ability to pursue one’s rights, claims or interests in daily life so that one can attain full realization of one’s talents, ambitions or abilities, as one would like. That is one path to satisfaction, social recognition and stature, certainly attributes of dignity. This might be thought of as self-realization, although that is not the only conception of dignity. What matters here is that each person should be free to develop his own personality to the fullest subject only to restrictions arising from others’ pursuit of the same.

Under this interpretation the fulfilment of the value of dignity is exercised in the free expression of one's personality and this expression is in keeping with the attainment of Maslow's higher needs for self-actualization.

The Value of Privacy

We visualize privacy as the domain which most closely surrounds us and in which we have complete freedom to express our personality and exercise complete autonomy.

Laas-Mikka & Sutrop (2012)
One of the most thorough treatments of privacy has been presented by Beate Rössler in her book, “The Value of Privacy” (2005), which centers on the question of why we value privacy. Rössler endeavors to show that “privacy in liberal societies is valued and needed for the sake of individual liberty and autonomy, that is, for the sake of both freedom for each individual to fulfill himself, and thus ultimately for the sake of a life that is rewarding” (2005:44). She describes privacy as the ability to control ‘access’ in the physical or metaphorical sense to one’s personhood, enabling autonomy practices; to decide over matters that concern one (including free behavior and action, that is, decisional privacy), to control what other people can know about oneself (informational privacy), and to protect one’s own space for self-evaluation and intimate relationships (local privacy). In the context of development and application of new technologies, our main concern is with informational privacy, a person’s control over the access and use of information about himself or herself.
Thus we see the importance of privacy as a value which further supports the values of liberty and autonomy.  Such support between values is not expected since the exercise of autonomy requires liberty.  In many ways, privacy is a like the right to be forgotten since, each are values with limited legal support.

And So It Begins...

Thus I have taken several approaches which can lead to the same end of defending the Affirmative side of the resolution without need to discuss legal remedies or technical details of how such a right would be implemented.  The idea is merely to argue that such a right is legitimate.  We leave it to the courts and advocates to figure out how to make it work and implement plans. For our part the real issue is, the right to be forgotten is an element of the right to personality and that, as we have seen above, is a natural right.

Run with it, debaters.  If time permits, I may come back and revisit this resolution in a few weeks with a legal framework but I think that would be a very difficult debate.

Click here for the negative position

(Note: all sources are available for free on the web.)

Cassirer, E. The Myth of the State. Yale University Press, 1963, p. 175

DeCew, J., "Privacy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Accessed at:

Duquette, D.A. Hegel: Social and political thought, Internet encylopedia of Philosopy, Accessed at:

Eberle, E.J. Observations on the Development of Human Dignity and Personality in German Constitutional Law: An Overview, Liverpool Law Rev (2012) 33:201–233, DOI 10.1007/s10991-012-9120-x, Accessed at:

MARCINKOWSKI (2013), B.M. Privacy Paradox(es): In Search of a Transatlantic Data Protection Standard, Ohio State Law Journal, Vol 74:6,Page 1167-1193


Oreg, E. Right to information identity, The John Marshall Journal of Information Technology &
Privacy Law, Vol. 29-4, 2012

Rosenblatt, B., Principles of Jurisdiction, accessed at:

Spencer, A.B., Jurisdiction and the Internet: Returning to traditional principles to analyze network-mediated contacts, University of Illinois Law Review, Vol 2006, Pages: 71-127

Stuart, A.H. (2014) Google search results: Buried if not forgotten, North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology, Vol 15-3, 2014, Pages: 463-517

Tuckness, A., "Locke's Political Philosophy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

Weber, R.H. The Right to Be Forgotten: More Than a Pandora’s Box?, 2 (2011) JIPITEC 120, para. 1.