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Right To Be Forgotten

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Do you have a right to be forgotten? Legally, not by your miserable kids on your birthday.

There are probably a lot of things you’d like people to forget you did. The unfortunate Christmas party incident, for example. Your 1980s era fashion choices. But what about a criminal charge in your background that has since been expunged?

A class action lawsuit for libel has been filed in Connecticut brought by people whose arrests were reported in online news stories where the records were later expunged.

The problem for many people is that although they can honestly tell a prospective employer that they have a clean record, search engines make it possible to search old stories to find out about the crimes even though the record has been purged.

The plaintiffs are claiming that the news outlets are actually defaming them by continuing to make the articles about the arrests available online. They argue that like in Europe, America should adopt a right to be forgotten on the internet which may be a stretch because of the First Amendment.

If you’ve expunged a criminal conviction but still find articles about it in search engines, until the law changes, keep the expungement records to send to a prospective employer if you’re asked about it.

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