by Angela Brinckerhoff

Footprint in the sand on a beachIn today’s world, it’s not very hard to find information about anyone, no matter how personal. Our posts, public records, employment history, etc. can all be uncovered within a few clicks. A University of Washington team of researchers created a project called Vanish to address this, making it possible to permanently erase personal data. This project brings up the central debate of the “right to be forgotten” movement, discussing the legality and prospect of deleting data from public databases and web searches. This podcast discusses the system behind Vanish and the different sides of the “right to be forgotten” debate. Special thanks to Amelia Muir, Henoc Zinga, and Justin Terry for their contributions.

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Markoff, J. (2009, July 20). New Technology to Make Digital Data Self-Destruct. Retrieved from

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Image: Footprints in the sand,” Susanne Nilsson, Flickr CC BY-SA