Keywords: Right to be Forgotten; Data Privacy; Digital Identity; Search Engines; Google.
The paper proposes some reflections about the so-called "right to be forgotten" or "right to oblivion" ("diritto all'oblio"). Starting with a concise history of the concept, the author investigates the different meanings of the term in Italian law system. This right is a hybrid between the right to privacy (and to personal data protection) and the right to a correct representation of one's own social image (i.e. personal identity). Then, the essay focuses on the judgment stated by the European Court of Justice (s.c. Google Spain case). With regard to the "right to be forgotten", the Court concluded that the operator of a search engine is obliged to remove from the list of results displayed following a search made on the basis of a person's name links to web pages, published by third parties and containing information relating to that person, also in a case where that name or information is not erased beforehand or simultaneously from those web pages, and even when its publication in itself on those pages is lawful. The interest of the general public in having access to the information in question must be balanced with fundamental rights to privacy and personal identity. The real - and unsolved - problem is: who will decide whether the request to delete data should be denied? Google is the right answer?