The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has held a hearing in the case of Hurbain v Belgium. The case concerns a court order to anonymise a digital archived news article accessible through the online platform of the newspaper Le Soir on the basis of the ‘right to be forgotten’ (see also our post here). The arguments of the applicant are supported and are further elaborated in a third-party intervention (TPI) drafted by a coalition of 16 NGOs and newspapers (here). The interveners emphasize the importance of the integrity of online news archives. They express in particular the fear that extending the ‘right to be forgotten’ to media archives will lead to an enormous amount of requests to media outlets and online archives to have content removed, altered or anonymised. This could not only lead to an enormous or additional administrative burden for certain media outlets and online archives, but also to a risk of over-reacting in terms of deleting, altering or anonymising online archived content in order to avoid legal proceedings or eventual liability.
Hurbain v. Belgium before the Grand Chamber
Published in News