A Google-backed advisory group recently endorsed the search giant’s decision to apply Europe’s “right to be forgotten” ruling only in the European Union. Last year an EU court decision ordered it to remove personal information from search results for individuals’ names upon their request and later adopted further guidelines calling for their regulations to be extended globally as the Internet is utilized on a global scale. While the international debate began with the lawful obligations of Google, Assistant Professor of Economics Jin Yeub Kim is leading research on the right to be forgotten movement’s economical impact.
“Most of the debate has been about the interpretation of law and the various philosophical perspectives involved stemming from which right – the right of privacy versus the freedom of speech and Google’s right to do business – is more important,” Kim said. “We are the first to look at it from the economics point of view to provide business insights from a cost-benefit and social welfare analysis to first find the optimal number of claims to maximize efficiency.”
Utilizing the data they collected and analyzed, she is writing the paper “The Economics of the Right to be Forgotten” with co-author Byung-Cheol Kim of Georgia Institute of Technology. Their results will add useful data to the global discussion of seeking balance between the right of privacy and the freedom of speech in the digital age.
Jin Yeub Kim teaching at CBA
This semester Kim is teaching the microeconomic theories utilized in this research into her Microeconomic Theory II course with the college’s economics Ph.D. students. The course is her first with doctoral students and the experience inspired her to create a bi-monthly reading group specifically for them.
“After interacting with the students and seeing their potential, I wanted to be able to discuss contemporary economics research with them. This opportunity not only builds their knowledge in the field but also lends to sharpening research skills they will need in their career,” she said.
Kim’s expertise in game theory and mechanism design also add to the strength of the Department of Economics. She joined the college this past August after earning her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and sees the university as a great fit for her.
“The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, being a Big Ten institution, is known for its research and collaborative environment, and CBA and the Department of Economics have been very supportive of my research,” Kim said.
This summer Kim, who grew up in South Korea with some primary education in the U.S., is looking forward to exploring more of Nebraska and making Lincoln home.
“There’s a lot of growth happening in Lincoln. I’ve enjoyed exploring and trying new restaurants,” she said. “I’m also looking to exploring more of Nebraska and maybe even learn how to ride a horse.”