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The issue has arisen from desires of individuals to "determine the development of their life in an autonomous way, without being perpetually or periodically stigmatized as a consequence of a specific action performed in the past." There has been controversy about the practicality of establishing a right to be forgotten to the status of an international human right in respect to access to information, due in part to the vagueness of current rulings attempting to implement such a right.Furthermore, there are concerns about its impact on the right to freedom of expression, its interaction with the right to privacy, and whether creating a right to be forgotten would decrease the quality of the Internet through censorship and a rewriting of history.Europe's data protection legislation are intended to secure potentially damaging, private information about individuals.

The term "right to be forgotten" is a relatively new idea, though on May 13, 2014, the European Court of Justice legally solidified that the "right to be forgotten" is a human right when they ruled against Google in the Costeja case.

In 1995, the European Union adopted the European Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) to regulate the processing of personal data.

Limitations of application in a jurisdiction include the inability to require removal of information held by companies outside the jurisdiction.

There is no global framework to allow individuals control over their online image.

However, the review process is still a mystery to the general public.

Guidelines set by EU regulators were not released until November 2014, but Google began to take action on this much sooner than that, allowing them to "shape interpretation to [their] own ends".

From a gathering of which websites had the most amount of links removed, Facebook won with a total of 11,973 URLs removed.

You Tube had 5,999 removed, Google Groups had 7,246 removed, and Twitter had 4,588 removed.

The right to be forgotten leads to allowing individuals to have information, videos or photographs about themselves deleted from certain internet records so that they cannot be found by search engines.

The right to be forgotten is distinct from the right to privacy, due to the distinction that the right to privacy constitutes information that is not publicly known, whereas the right to be forgotten involves removing information that was publicly known at a certain time and not allowing third parties to access the information.

The new European Proposal for General Data Protection Regulation provides protection and exemption for companies listed as "media" companies, like newspapers and other journalistic work.