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Remembering and Forgetting in the Digital Age

Florent Thouvenin, Peter Hettich, Urs Gasser, Herbert Burkert & Jan Gerlach

abstract The project analyzes and assesses the legal framework for the handling of personal information from the past and for the future within an environment conditioned by changing information technologies.

From the perspective of the information law approach, the project will look at remembering and forgetting of personal information as a set of rules, procedures and organizational frames determining the handling of past information in the present and the handling of present information for the future. It will analyze and assess a variety of existing, cross-cutting legal materials – with deep dives in areas such as public archives, registers, storage duties, and prescription – along its informational functions and answer the following four guiding research questions:

1. What are the isomorphic normative structures, default rules and shifts, including their underlying legitimation, as well as potential patterns that concern the remembering and forgetting of information?

2. Are there possible points of tension and/or inconsistencies within these normative structures?

3. What are the key conflicts between the interests of remembering and forgetting, and as to what extent are these conflicts adequately addressed by the normative structure, given the new technological environment?

4. How could the current legal framework concerning the remembering and forgetting of information be improved de lege ferenda, and where are possible gaps and issues that are yet unaddressed by legal rules?
   
keywords remembering, forgetting, digital age, internet, personal information, data
   
homepage http://www.fir.unisg.ch
partner Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University
mcm Institute for Media and Communications Management, University of St. Gallen
type fundamental research project
status ongoing
start of project 2012
end of project 2014
additional informations
topics Remembering and forgetting of personal information in the digital age
methods Information Law Approach
contact Florent Thouvenin