The New Yorker’s Toobin quotes Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, an Austrian-born Oxford professor whom he characterizes as “one of the intellectual godfathers of the right to be forgotten,” about why such a right should exist:
[H]e describes how, in the nineteen-thirties, the Dutch government maintained a comprehensive population registry, which included the name, address, and religion of every citizen. At the time, he writes, “the registry was hailed as facilitating government administration and improving welfare planning.” But when the Nazis invaded Holland, they used the registry to track down Jews and Gypsies. “We may feel safe living in democratic republics, but so did the Dutch,” he said. “We do not know what the future holds in store for us, and whether future governments will honor the trust we put in them to protect information privacy rights.”
I came across this doing some reading for work, and it's an interesting article. This entire RTBF discussion/debate, as well as balancing privacy against freedom of information, is complex. Generally, I think I support more privacy for individuals, and more transparency for governments and corporations.