Being Forgotten on the Internet. How Temporal Contextual Integrity can Protect Online Reputation

Alexander Novotny

ISBN 978-3-8325-4193-4
483 pages, year of publication: 2016
price: 46.50 €
The boundless long-term retention of information about people's lives on the world wide web jeopardizes their reputation and deprives them of a fresh start. Mr. Costeja González' reputation, for example, was damaged by twelve year-old newspaper articles on Google attesting him a poor creditworthiness (ECJ C-131/12). His case triggered a public discussion about creating a "forgetting Internet" and counteracting the "age of everlasting personal data retention."

This book argues that the world wide web endangers people's reputation by presenting them and their online profiles short of temporal context. Drawing on Heidegger's and Ricoeur's philosophy of time, Walzer's spheres of justice, Solove's visionary pragmatism for privacy and Nissenbaum's theory of privacy as contextual integrity, the book proposes safeguarding the "temporal contextual integrity" of personal information online. The author suggests designing web user interfaces for making the passage of time within people's online representations prominent. With time-sensitive interfaces, employers start ignoring job seekers' obsolete reputation in online labor markets. Technology requirements for a "forgetting Internet" are discussed.

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Table of contents (PDF)


  • information privacy
  • digital oblivion
  • right to be forgotten
  • data protection
  • human-computer interaction


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