Content Regulation / Censorship, Defamation / Reputation, Privacy, Data Protection and Retention
Hegglin v. Google
Decision Pending Expands Expression
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The S.T.J. denied the request by the surviving siblings of Aida Curi for the right to be forgotten and all actions against Globo TV. Aida Curi’s sibling sued after Globo broadcasted a program about her 1958 murder.
The family of Aida Curi brought an action against Globo to request facts that resulted in the death of Aida Curi. Her surviving family members claimed that the report by TV Globo, a broadcasting company, reopened their wounds and asked the court to protect Aida Curi’s right to be forgotten.
The family claimed that despite the case’s national recognition, the station exploited Aida Curi’s homicide for profit. The family requested that despite the expansive media coverage at the time of the murder and the public’s general knowledge of the facts of the case, that the right to be forgotten prevents Globo from disclosing information regarding Aida Curi.
Globo maintained that their program exhibited materials about the case that were widely known and discussed by the public. Furthermore, the report is not as offensive as the family of the victim claims, the content was limited to facts known by the public and a collective history of facts of interest. The right to be forgotten is not applicable in this case and preventing broadcasting under the pretense of that right would be true censorship.
In 2013, the S.T.J. found that there was no abuse on the part of Globo for informing the public of historical facts. The Court still maintained that the disclosure of the facts may override some of the individual’s interest. Even if those historical facts are those which the individual or family may wish to forget, the disclosure of facts for public benefit can trump the right to be forgotten.
Furthermore, the Court decided that the right to be forgotten is not applicable in this case. The Court held that decades after a crime occurs, the facts of the case enter into the public domain. It would be impractical for Globo to broadcast the facts of the case being unable to cite that these facts are from the Aida Curi homicide. For the reasons the above, the Court dismissed the claims brought by Aida Curi’s family against Globo.
Decision Direction indicates whether the decision expands or contracts expression based on an analysis of the case.
The Court’s decision expands freedom of expression by protecting the freedom of information in the public domain. The Court’s decision to hold the freedom of information and historical significance over an individual’s right to be forgotten (in some circumstances) protects the media’s ability to share information with the public.
Global Perspective demonstrates how the court’s decision was influenced by standards from one or many regions.
Case significance refers to how influential the case is and how its significance changes over time.
The Court’s decision is beneficial to broadcasting organizations that wish to report on historical events involving individuals. The Court held that the right to be forgotten does not prevent broadcasters from sharing information about an individual that is of historical significance.
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