Is Being Forgotten a Human Right?

Identity theft at record highs, leading to talk about “the right to be forgotten.”

With ID theft a huge problem, especially in the debt collection industry, is it any surprise that an increasing number of Americans are angry? Instead of just demanding for more laws about ID theft and more arrests of the perpetrators, they may seek more power to do something about it – on their own.

It’s called The Right to be Forgotten, and since last year, it’s allowed citizens in the European Union to do something unheard of in the United States: Demand search engines remove links with personal information about them under certain conditions.”

 

With the United States’ strong First Amendment protections, experts have assumed such a right would never cross the Atlantic Ocean. A recent survey indicates otherwise. In a poll by a company called TRUSTe, 69 percent of Americans agree that the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ should be a human right.” Only 29 percent “think it allows for censorship.”

What would Americans do with this new right? This…

  • 52 percent: “request for their telephone number to be removed”
  • 41 percent: “request removal of their address’
  • 20 percent: “request to remove photos of themselves”

“Our research shows that Americans believe they should have the right to greater control of their online identities,” says Chris Babel, TRUSTe’s CEO. “The Right to be Forgotten ruling brings up an interesting debate between having the right to personal privacy and the right to access accurate and comprehensive information online.”

Gary Herman, president of Consolidated Credit, says he and his company take no position on the Right to be Forgotten, but he does have strong opinions about what he calls “the right not to be a ID theft victim.”

“As we’ve reported before, criminals often lurk in our industry, soaking up as much data on Americans struggling with debt, so they can turn those into threatening phone calls and emails – all designed to steal their money,” Herman says.  “It’s because of these criminals that Consolidated Credit has created a thorough checklist to both avoid identity theft and to repair the damage if you’re still a victim.”

If your credit has been harmed by such scams, and if you’re looking for professional guidance, Consolidated Credit has certified counselors standing by. Call . If you’re struggling with debt, you can receive a free debt analysis.