Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Right to be forgotten" online: interesting points to consider and possible impact

"The Court of Justice of the European Union set a legal precedent on 13 May when it ruled that a user has the right to have links to web pages about him removed from Google's results because the passage of time made them 'irrelevant.'" What does this mean???? If you commit a crime, or there are negative links about you found later to be untrue, or you think it's an invasion of your privacy, you can petition for them to be removed so nobody knows about them, or, in other words, you can petition for censorship. Not all of the requests will be allowed. The links would be removed by a search firm, such as Google.  Google thinks that it would be hard to do and they want to consider the implications. The UK's data privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) thinks they might have to force the search firms to remove the links if the search company couldn't or wouldn't do it. Wikipedia thinks it amounts to widespread internet censorship and agrees with Google that it could be really hard to implement. The ICO agrees it will be hard to implement.  This could have world wide effects as to what stays on the internet or what comes off it. If you are a bad date, and your dates put their assessment of you online, and you believe that it is ruining your life and privacy, does this impact your dates' rights to express their opinions, or does it become irrelevant or negatively affect your life??? It could be yes to all of this. Whose rights matter more?   To read more about it click http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27499601?print=true

Update July 7, 2014: Now Google has reversed itself and is putting back online some pages it previously removed after protests of the data being removed. I'm sure their lawyers must have discussed the consequences. This just goes to show you that once it is online it is there, somewhere, pretty much forever. Read more about it here http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28157607

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