A new bill seeks to enact the Right to be Forgotten in Israel

A new bill was proposed at the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) this week, by Knesset Member Ofer Shelah together with a group of other Knesset Members, seeking to amend the Protection of Privacy Law and enact the "Right to be Forgotten" (Privacy Protection Bill (Amendment - Right to be Forgotten), 5774-2014, available here, in Hebrew). The bill was presumably proposed in light of the European Court of Justice's decision earlier this year, requiring that Google remove from its search engine, results that invade an individual's privacy (even without requiring the website on which the information was published, to remove the information), in cases where the information is inaccurate or no longer relevant.

Under the proposed bill, any individual who believes he or she has been harmed by the publication of personal information on the Internet, may submit a request to the operator of the search engine through which the information can be located, to have the information removed. If the search engine declines the request or fails to respond, the individual may file a lawsuit requesting that the court issue an order commanding the search engine to remove the information in question. The court may order the operator of the search engine to remove the information, if it is satisfied that the removal is justified under the circumstances. To this end, the court shall weigh the degree of harm that the individual has suffered or may suffer as a result of the published information, against the possible harm to public interests that may result from purging the information. The court would need to consider, among other criteria, the identity of the individual, his or her character and the sensitivity of the information.