This Wiki provides a set of evolving resources used and created within the Swiss National Science Foundation Project "Remembering and Forgetting in the Digital Age" and includes relevant articles, overviews and opinions from different fields of research. It is intended as a collaborative tool for researchers, policy-makers, students and others who are interested in the phenomena of remembering and forgetting in a digitalised society.


The content is subdivided into five relevant parts. The first two parts provide an overview and update on the project and the state of research. The following four parts cover specific disciplines in more detail. The different disciplines are subdivided into issues, findings and readings:
  • Issues: What are the individual and collective functions and mechanisms of remembering and forgetting? What rules with regard to remembering and forgetting have emerged in society? Where are the controversies? How do law and technology shape the process of remembering and forgetting?
  • Findings: The project aims at gaining insight into the different mechanisms with which individuals, groups, organizations and societies handle memory, its organization and its use.
  • Readings: This section provides papers, comments and other relevant publications that are linked to the issues and findings.


Remembering and Forgetting at Memornet Conference 2015 - November 2015
We are happy to announce that Prof. Dr. Florent Thouvenin and Rehana Harasgama will be presenting the results of our research project and the preliminary Design Guide for Remembering and Forgetting in the Digital Age at the upcoming Memornet Conference 2015 which will be held at the University of Tampere in Finland.

The CJEU declares that the Commisson's US Safe Harbour decision is invalid - October 2015Yesterday, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidated Decision 2000/520 of the European Commission establishing a safe harbour for transferring personal data from the EU to the US. By doing so, the CJEU hopes to strengthen the role of national Data Protection Authorities in this regard. It remains to be seen how this decision will affect companies and the equivalent agreement between Switzerland and the US in the future.
Open Letter to Google - May 2015
Almost, exactly one year after the CJEU's ruling on the "Right to be Forgotten" a group of internet scholars and legal academics comprised an open letter to Google asking them to be more transparent on how they strike the balance between the public interest and an individual's interest in privacy when deciding on what to de-list and what not to de-list.

SNF Report - April 2015
We also just handed in our final report to the Swiss National Science Foundation. Our findings will soon be published in a book and our Design Guide.

Concluding Workshop - April 2015
We are proud to annouce the successful realization of our concluding workshop, that took place last month and would like to thank all our participants for contributing to our research in such an inspiring way!

ForgetIT Project - 2007-2013
The ForgetIT project is funded by the EC within the 7th Framework Programme under the objective "Digital Preservation" (GA 600826).

Google Advisory Council Report - February 2015
Google's Advisory Council on the Right to be Forgotten just published its report. The Wall Street Journal says: "[...] a majority of the Google-organized panel [...] backed the company's position saying users outside Europe had interests in seeking information and restrictions may run up against laws in other countries."

Guidelines on Right to be Forgotten - November 2014
The Article 29 Working Party published Guidlines on the implementation of the CJEU judgment on "google Spain and inc v. Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD) and Mario Costja González c-131/121.

UK House of Lords Report on the Right to Forgotten - July 2014
In its report on the CJEU judgment of the Right to be Forgotten the House of Lords EU Home Affairs, Health and Education Sub-Committee stated that the judgment "leads to results which are misguided in principle and unworkable in practice".

UN Report on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age - June 2014
In its resolution 68/167, the General Assembly requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit a report on the protection and promotion of the right to privacy in the context of domestic and extraterritorial surveillance and/or the interception of digital communications and the collection of personal data, including on a mass scale. The UN published the report this June.

U.S. Supreme Court - Riley v California - June 2014
In this landmark decision the U.S. Supreme Court held that the warrantless search and seizure of digital contents of a cell phone during an arrest is unconstitutional.

The EU Court of Justice rules there is a "right to be forgotten" - May 2014
The Court ruled that people do have a "right to be forgotten" and search engines like Google must remove certain unwanted links if requested by the person connected with the link.

The EU Court of Justice rules that Directive 2006/24/EC on data retention is invalid - April 2014
In its decision in April 2014 the Court ruled that Directive 2006/24/EC is no longer valid and thus strengthens data protection rights in the EU.

The EU Parliament's legislative resolution for the EU Commission's for a new EU Data Protection Resolution - March 2014

ECHR decision in the case of Howald Moor and Others v. Switzerland - March 2014
The Court held that the rules on limition periods infringed the rights of persons suffering from a disease which, like asbestos-related diseases, could not be diagnosed until many years after the events.

French Court Tells Google to Filter Images From Search Engine - 6 November 2013
Paris's Tribunal de Grande Instance said that Google must automatically filter out images from its search engine.

EU: Right to be forgotten becomes right to erasure - 22 October 2013
Article 17 of the proposed regulation now provides for the "right to erasure", previously termed the "right to be forgotten".

Californian law gives teens right to delete - 24 September 2013
The law, which will take effect in 2015, only covers content generated by the individual.

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods: Tearing the Veil of Privacy Law - August 2013
An Experiment on Chilling Effects and the Right to Be Forgotten. This paper challenges the argument that consent does not entail any relevant impediments for the liberty of the consenting individual.

European Court of Justice denies "right to be forgotten" - 25 June 2013
Advocate General, Niilo Jaaskinen from the European Court of Justice stated in a formal opinion, that the data controller of a website, not Google, should bear the responsibility for information published.