While the potential for abuse, as stated, is high, I can definitely see an increasing need for legally enforced self-scrubbing. We live in a very public time, and much of the data is not ephemeral. Getting drunk and being stupid at a party when you’re 18 can have effects if the wrong person has a camera, and you don’t even have to be a celebrity anymore.
Yes, people have a certain responsibility to use correct privacy settings, flag pictures on Facebook and so on, but expecting a stupid teenager or 20-something to have laser-focused PR-minded control over their online image is a bit of a tall order, IMO, and providing a way to disappear old stupid things you did from the archives is a decent solution to such a problem, especially when employers (sadly) can and will vet you with a Google search, making this pictures from that party 3 years ago even more dangerous.
There are a lot of questions, though. For instance, at what level is it right to allow this? Certainly a lot of people who became embroiled in memes likely wished to be forgotten the moment it happened, but when it only takes a day to integrate such a thing into internet culture, is it ethical to stop it in its tracks when it’s probably already a cultural phenomenon whether you try to purge it or not? To a degree, this almost seems like an attempt to legislate away the Streisand Effect, which seems a bit impossible.
Likewise, what if people try to purge unsavory associations they have just for image crafting, and not because it was a “young and stupid” thing? E.G a politician stomping links to old Neo Nazi blog posts they made, even though they still agree with the sentiment.
Overall, I think it’s an attempt at a solution to a very real problem. When things like internet archives exist and we’re in a world where doing something moderately stupid in public can make you increasingly more difficult to employ just because some jerk with a camera phone was there, providing a way to just make it go away is, IMO, very helpful. I do agree there’s a huge potential for abuse, though, and I’m not sure whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.