Chilean Supreme Court decision: "Right to information overrides the right to be forgotten"


On 6th November 2017, the Supreme Court of Chile stated that "the right to information overrides the right to be forgotten" in a decision in favour of Centro de Investigación Periodística (Centre for Investigative Reporting - CIPER) regarding doctor Víctor Valverde's petition to remove an article about medical malpractice from CIPER's site. The article by journalist Gustavo Villarrubias was published on 4th March 2013 and details an incident where Valverde used a pill that has been banned in Chile to induce an early delivery by a pregnant patient, putting both the life of the mother and child at risk.

The Third Chamber of the Supreme Court stated in its ruling that Valverde had no legal basis and support to his argument that the CIPER investigative report on the incident had violated his right to privacy, given that the information published by CIPER was proven “true and of public interest”.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas reported that "the right to be forgotten is a legal concept adopted in certain countries in recent years so that people who feel affected by online publications have the ability to demand that the content be deleted from websites, search engines or social networks [...] Although the right to be forgotten does not appear as such in Chilean legislation, its interpretation is based on Article 19, paragraph 4, of the political constitution, which guarantees 'respect and protection of private life and the honour of the person and his family'."