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How Google Handles 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests

Soulskill posted about a month and a half ago | from the conveniently-forgets-about-them dept.

Google 135

An anonymous reader writes: In response to an inquiry from European data protection regulators, Google has detailed how they evaluate and act on requests to de-index search results. Google's procedures for responding to "right-to-be-forgotten" requests are explained in a lengthy document that was made publicly available. "Google of course claims its own economic interest does not come into play when making these rtbf judgements — beyond an 'abstract consideration' of a search engine needing to help people find the most relevant information for their query. ... Google also goes into lengthy detail to justify its decision to inform publishers when it has removed links to content on their sites — a decision which has resulted in media outlets writing new articles about delisted content, thereby resulting in the rtbf ruling causing the opposite effect to that intended (i.e. fresh publicity, not fair obscurity)."

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Farting awesomeness of skin (-1, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591091)

It lemon the favrite of my smart butt in the wing of a perks the dust on slime accumulate girth.

Re:Farting awesomeness of skin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591115)

Someone mod this goy up

Re:Farting awesomeness of skin (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591719)

It lemon the favrite of my smart butt in the wing of a perks the dust on slime accumulate girth.

Oh Really?
Well, Snot dogs softly waffle lizard skinned laundry ladies!

Who didn't see this coming? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591179)

Anybody who expected "right to be forgotten" requests to be handled quietly is delusional. Of course the information will get additional publicity!

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591219)

Of course the information will get additional publicity!

<kneejerk>Sure it will, right up until the police turn up at Google's European workplaces and start arresting their corporate officers for contempt of court.</kneejerk>

That possibility may or may not be hyperbole, of course.

However, one certainty is that US corporations are playing with fire if they attempt to circumvent the spirit of European court rulings based on technicalities. I do wonder whether, sooner or later, some European judge is going to make an example of someone, even if it's not in this particular case. And in practice there may be little that person can do to defend themselves if a judge does decide to throw them in jail for a few days for contempt just to make their point abundantly clear.

Also, given the US government's much-discussed powers to compel organisations to do things and keep quiet about it, clearly these organisations are aware of the possibility. And given that the entire point of the original court ruling in this case was the remove what the court considered inappropriate attention, it's not as if any search engine is going to get much sympathy claiming they didn't understand what they were being told to do or why.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (4, Insightful)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591313)

So the end result will be publishers pinging google every day to see if any of the stories they published are still google-able...

This is a stupid regulation. If someone doesn't want to have their story "out there" , they should just approach the publisher directly. Google isn't the one publishing or storing (for public consumption) this data... so they're a wrong target for this regulation.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591531)

Google isn't the one publishing or storing (for public consumption) this data... so they're a wrong target for this regulation.

The way we find information has changed.
Why shouldn't laws change to reflect how we want to interact with the new reality?

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (4, Insightful)

Wycliffe (116160) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591963)

The way we find information has changed.
Why shouldn't laws change to reflect how we want to interact with the new reality?

Because that's just it, it's the way we find information, it's not the information itself.
This is the equivalent of making google maps and/or rand mcnally not list strip clubs on their maps.
The strip club is still there. It's still operating, it's just slightly harder to find.
If you don't like strip clubs then go after the strip club not the map maker.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47592581)

Since we all know that this argument is going to end up there anyway.
Do you think search engines should stop filtering child pornography? (Yes, they do that today.)

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47592969)

Yes, I do. It doesn't help anyway. Anyone who wants to find it is finding it. And anyone who doesn't want to find it wont

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (2)

N1AK (864906) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592617)

This is a stupid regulation. If someone doesn't want to have their story "out there" , they should just approach the publisher directly.

It is stupid regulation, but your alternative solution is also pretty stupid. Firstly, it makes no sense for publishers to put any effort into deciding if they need to remove content or not without a potential legal consequence, and secondly the majority of web content is outside UK jurisdiction. They are going after search engines because trying to get a website hosted in Buenos Aires to take down a misleading and outdated article related to the Falklands war isn't viable for example.

Now the reason the law is stupid, isn't because it targets search engines but because it expects private corporations to make judgements on what should or shouldn't be forgotten.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47593457)

Yes but the politicians are "frit" of the media moguls who are the ones that behave badly.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591389)

I do not see how this can be considered circumvention or contempt. Google has a long history of being transparent in this way. They make public what content they delist because of copyright violations and it is only right that they inform a website when they do similar for "right to be forgotten". You might argue that it is really the website's duty to begin with to comply with rights to be forgotten, and they are the only ones responsible for any possible contempt, but since no one contacted them to begin with asking to be forgotten I think that they are legally in the clear.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (4, Informative)

swillden (191260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591545)

I do not see how this can be considered circumvention or contempt. Google has a long history of being transparent in this way. They make public what content they delist because of copyright violations and it is only right that they inform a website when they do similar for "right to be forgotten".

Further, if you read Google's document they indicate that in the case of data protection removals they inform the webmaster of the URL that has been de-listed, with no information about the details of the request or the requester. This seems like a sensible and serious attempt to balance the right of the webmaster to know that his content is no longer being indexed (for some searches) with the right of privacy of the person requesting removal.

It also seems to be the cause of the hoopla a few weeks back which put Google in the crosshairs of many who claimed the company was trying to sensationalize the removals. Google had removed the link when the searched topic was the name of a commenter on the article (who asked for it to be removed), but not when the searched topic was person the article was about, or other relevant terms. The webmaster saw that the URL had be de-listed for some searches and the paper wrote an article about how the URL had been removed entirely, even though it was obviously in the public interest, asserting that Google was intentionally removing things that weren't justified under the law in order to provoke a backlash against it. The assumption that it had been removed entirely was incorrect, of course, but Google couldn't provide information about the rationale or scope of the removal without violating the privacy of the requester.

I, personally, think the "right to be forgotten" is ridiculous, but it appears to me that Google is trying very hard to comply with it, letter and spirit.

(Disclosure: I'm a Google employee, but I have nothing to do with any of this and know nothing about it beyond what I read in the press. Also, I'm not a company spokesperson of any sort; they pay me to sit at a desk and pound out code.)

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591641)

You might argue that it is really the website's duty to begin with to comply with rights to be forgotten, and they are the only ones responsible for any possible contempt, but since no one contacted them to begin with asking to be forgotten I think that they are legally in the clear.

It is the duty of every company which collects information about people to comply with the rights to be forgotten. Google is one of those companies, which collects data about people, and therefore they must legally comply.

You are totally right that the source website has the same duty, and should be held responsible as well (at least if they are a company. The law doesn't apply to private individuals).

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591661)

Google collects metadata about people, but since that is secret stuff they keep to themselves no one asks them to forget it. Google also collects metadata about websites, which is publically searchable. But when Joe Smith wants some comment removed, Google did not have that data collected to begin with.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591731)

No, you are wrong; the website does not have the same duty. This is very important. These are not cases of libel; these are case where people are asking for factually correct, non-defamatory information to be removed. Nor are these even edge cases, such as the privilege of reformed criminals having their convictions and crimes suppressed in order to let them reintegrate into society without discrimination, which some countries, especially in Europe, have.

In order to try to rationalize the judgement as not being censorship, the courts did not apply this to the initial publication. Only a 3rd party that aggregates information (such as a search engine) has to comply. This way everyone can pretend that this isn't a restriction on the free press and is somehow good for society.

Google telling the publishers in only a minor way to get around the ruling. Google could, for example, in any case of a request, contact the publisher and in exchange for a permanent, non-transferable, non-exclusive license to the copyrighted information agree to host and publish the content. Then Google could continue to provide the information in their search results, because they are simply providing links to their own works. No longer would they be collecting information; just publishing works they have a license to.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591931)

Maybe that is all true where you are, but in Europe much of what you described there would also be contrary to privacy and data protection laws. The rule we're discussing applies to a search engine because that was the subject of that particular court case. It doesn't exempt anyone else who is subject to European laws from their own obligations regarding respect for privacy and not sharing personal data inappropriately. Nor, for that matter, does whether or not the information being shared happens to be true.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47592519)

No, you are wrong. This is why there are complaints from the EU regulators that Google is telling to websites that their content is not being indexed. The privacy and data protection laws in question do not prevent the publishing of the information. If they did, this whole thing would be moot because people would just go to the initial source and get the content removed -- no need to get Google involved at all.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47593467)

So anyone told Rupert Murdoch that yet?

Anyway (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591713)

The "right to be forgotten" is a heart-winning word for "censorship." While spreading misinformation may be bad, censorship is worse (who decided what is mis information versus valid and pertinent information? Someone you trust?)

Remember, a censor is a person who knows more than he thinks you should.

No they are in contempt (3, Interesting)

aepervius (535155) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591833)

The initial judgment was clear. The person which had debt but repaid them (the initial reason there was that judgement) did not have a right to change the news article because it was a fact, but they had a right to have the search engine not report them as a result. In fact this was how it worked before there was a search engine : if you wanted something forgotten you either moved out, or waited for some time. At that point if nobody checked the primary source directly (old journal article) then you were forgotten, as there was not a service/persons standing beside you permanently always telling everybody what you did wrong in the past. With google it is the case of having that person standing beside you telling everything you did so far as google can link it.

It was clear from the judgement and the right to be forgotten that further reporting it wide of the removal would go against the very basis of it. After all there is no difference between "mister ABC has fone stuff XYZ" and "mister ABC has asked google to remove link to article where he did stuff XYZ". Even if it was an error the first time it was clear after the first reported removal went that way , that google by continuing to do that went against the spirit and the basis of the right to eb forgotten. In fact i would argue that google did it intentionally, knowingly and contemptuously, respecting the letter of the law but hoping with a two pronged way this would undermine the right to be forgotten : 1) they intentionally continued reporting the link removal when they are not forced by law to do so, and it was obviously counter productive to the spirit of the law to tell that to news agency and 2) they intentionally agreed to remove link which were not covered by the right to be forgotten, for example from politician and prominent person doing illegal stuff.


Both actions shows this was not an accident and they did it to undermine the request. "doing no evil" is long gone. google now are clearly asshole.

Re:No they are in contempt (3, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591895)

Of course it is not an accident, this is just Google following their long standing policy of transparency when delisting websites.

Re:No they are in contempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591969)

Now, see, I happen to think that "Don't Be Evil" is telling the unelected officials of the Grossfrankenreich to fold their censorship orders until they're all corners and shove 'em where the sun doesn't shine. You think it's bowing down before those censors in supplication and obeying them. I think it's pretty clear you're the asshole.

Re:No they are in contempt (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592157)

. "doing no evil" is long gone. google now are clearly asshole.

Fighting European censorship falls under doing good in my book. Your laws are evil. And its perfectly OK for different countries to feel that way. What's not OK is for Europeans to try and export their censorship globally.

Re:No they are in contempt (1)

Mirar (264502) | about a month and a half ago | (#47593183)

Mind, most Europeeans don't like censorship either.

England doesn't like the ruling either. [google.com]

Re: No they are in contempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47593369)

Europeans like to do what their governments tell them to do. Google better step in line or some eurocop will show up to their HQs and tell them to "round up your Jews".

Re:No they are in contempt (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47593401)

That's great to see: right to be forgotten = right to censorship
Exactly the point!

  I love the Guardian doing a long article about the guy asking for right to be forgotten thereby guaranteeing it doesn't happen.

BTW as long as you are giving me good news regarding Europe. What is the opinion in Europe about the persecution (no government jobs, taking kids from parents...) restrictions on Scientology?

Re:No they are in contempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47593477)

Yes and lovely how a supposedly liberal paper keeps bringing up Max Mosley's S&M adventures even when it has nothing to do with the story - posted anonymously as I am applying for a job at GMG

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591717)

Of course the information will get additional publicity!

<kneejerk>Sure it will, right up until the police turn up at Google's European workplaces and start arresting their corporate officers for contempt of court.</kneejerk>

That possibility may or may not be hyperbole, of course.

...

There's not "might" about that being hyperbole at all.

Google's corporate officers will have to wait in line behind the bankers from the housing crash and GM's execs from their government-aided coverup [bloomberg.com] of deadly defects.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (0)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592149)

if a judge does decide to throw them in jail for a few days for contempt just to make their point abundantly clear.

How is a European judge going to throw an American in jail? We had essentially the same conversation about Azure. If Europeans want products run in accordance with European law and culture they should create them, and stop using American products.

Yandex, Seznam, Conduit, Vinden.nl are all European engines. If Europeans want European law then use those. The internet is open. Google should run according to USA law, Yandex according to Russian law and Baidu according to Chinese law.

Re: Who didn't see this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47592333)

You mean Irish law right?

Re: Who didn't see this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47593821)

Europe will simply claim authority over all the internet, by virtue of Europe being the one and only place where culture and civilization rose to its highest peak and racial purity and superiority. Europeans have already claimed the title of "Herrenvolk" (master race), so it is only logical for them to also claim the right to rule over the world.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47593451)

Given that some country's supreme courts have expressed doubts maybe not - the problem with the EU is there is no revising chamber that sorts out the bugs in laws before they become law.

The other problem is that each EU member implements these laws as they see fit so you can get widely differing implementation of laws in different countries.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (2)

Uecker (1842596) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591807)

I bet the most "right to be forgotten" requests will never get additional publicity. There is a reason it is called the Barbara Streisand effect and not the Jon Doe effect.

I also do not fully understand the hatred against these rights. We aleady have intellectual property laws which limit the information flow on the internet in extreme ways. Why should indviduals not have some rights on information about themselves?

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (2)

yacc143 (975862) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592017)

Well, it's simple.

The American way of life (or understanding Privacy) is that information about Mr. X, that is collected by some company is the property of said company.

The European concept in Privacy is that any data about Mr. X is basically always the property of Mr. X, and any company wanting to store/process/... that data needs a legal authorization to do so. (That can be explicit by law, there are some general cases where other laws imply the right to process data, e.g. accounting/taxing rules, or by personal consent.) Even if a a company processes data about Mr. X legally, Mr. X has a number of rights (e.g. withdrawal of permission => deletion, correction of data, and naturally as a first, a right to query any data linked with him by the company). The stuff is complicated by the fact that privacy protection is currently regulated by the member countries, based on a common guideline.

If you think about this for a moment, you'll realize that these two concepts are very incompatible. The Politicians decided to paper over this with the "US-EU Safe Harbour Agreement", and currently some of the high level courts in the EU are finding that the Agreement is not exactly working as advertised.

Considering the right to be "forgotten", if you think about this, it's obviously covered by existing law:

* Google is not some kind of Publisher (that would be an argument that they have a legal authorization from laws covering Journalism), so it's a data processor of data that can be linked to an individual.

* Hence the right to delete stuff (withdraw the permission to process data about Mr. X.) obviously applies.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a month and a half ago | (#47593483)

except when it's the traditional media your rights suddenly disappear

Re: Who didn't see this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47593717)

The problem I'm having isn't that European views on privacy are different, but that the courts are asking search engines to be the judge of what should or should not be removed.

Other than that, thank you for the insightful comparison. After having this discussion with a French colleague a few weeks ago, I realized that the cultural difference makes it very hard for everyone to understand the motives of people on the other side of the ocean. You helped clear that up a bit.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (0)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592167)

We aleady have intellectual property laws which limit the information flow on the internet in extreme ways. Why should indviduals not have some rights on information about themselves?

Because Google is an American company. In America speech about something, particularly critical speech, is strongly protected. One of the protections for speech is ownership and rights to your own speech. Person X has no right to control what person Y says about them. That's the very meaning of free speech.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (2)

Uecker (1842596) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592283)

We aleady have intellectual property laws which limit the information flow on the internet in extreme ways. Why should indviduals not have some rights on information about themselves?

Because Google is an American company. In America speech about something, particularly critical speech, is strongly protected. One of the protections for speech is ownership and rights to your own speech. Person X has no right to control what person Y says about them. That's the very meaning of free speech.

But how is this even related to free speech? It is not really about speech (opinions and ideas) but entries in a data base. It is not even a person speaking, it is a search engine. Also, the right to free speech is not absolute, but already limited even in the US in various ways, see hate speech, *bleep*, copyright...

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592689)

But how is this even related to free speech?

Person Y states an opinion about Person X.
Government G disagrees with that opinion because they like Person X and makes it a crime to reference it.
Person Z makes reference to it and is punished.

That's anti-free speech. What Google is being asked to do is deliberately and in a premeditated fashion lie to the people of Europe and tell them false government approved "truths" rather than actual truth. That's the core of censorship.

. Also, the right to free speech is not absolute, but already limited even in the US in various ways, see hate speech

Hate speech is not illegal in the United States. That's a European policy not an American one.

*bleep*, copyright.

Copyright is a category error.
Person Y says mean thing about X.
Copyright is that Person Y owns the statement and has rights to it.
Free speech is that Person Y is allowed to say it.
If Person Z wants to repeat the entire statement that's a violation of copyright.
If Person Z wants to indicate that Person Y said that mean thing that is protected speech and copyright doesn't apply.

Which is why a movie review is not a violation of copyright even if it contains short segments from the movie.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592629)


!#noindex

There should be a right not to be indexed in the first place.

This is much like robots.txt, but should apply to any social media website, including forums.
Putting a special token somewhere in (e.g. the top) of a post, for example, could mean that the post should not be indexed, like I have done in this post.

Of course, in the future, I will change my user-name to Striped !#noindex Cow.

Re:Who didn't see this coming? (1)

2fuf (993808) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592791)

Or you could, like, not post it to social media in the first place.

How far does this token reach, will you zap everyone's memory who read your post too?
What if they capture a screenshot and repost?

Seriously take some responsibility for your own actions instead of blaming someone else when you screw up.

Try to make me forget. (4, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591193)

Sure, I'd love for everyone to forget the stupid crap I do, but that isn't the way life works.

Re:Try to make me forget. (3, Interesting)

diamondmagic (877411) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591205)

It's not so much "right to be forgotten" as it is "obligation for you to shut up," is it?

Re:Try to make me forget. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591225)

...that isn't the way life works.

Actually, that's exactly the way life works, right up until some multi-billion-dollar megacorp decides to step in with technology that never forgets and that makes information (potentially including partial, inaccurate or misleading information) available more easily and to a much wider audience than would otherwise be the case.

Re:Try to make me forget. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591331)

Hmm... in small-town communities, you really "can't be forgotten" for stupid shit you do in your life. One option is to learn to deal with it (EVERYONE makes mistakes, and not everyone is as moral as they wish to think they are). Another option is to move out and start fresh somewhere else.

What these mega corporations have done is make this small-town culture global---to the point that there's no place on earth anyone can go without being googled for.

Re:Try to make me forget. (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591355)

Hmm... in small-town communities, you really "can't be forgotten" for stupid shit you do in your life.

That's not actually true either. Small towns historically have been limited to local knowledge about residents, which actually helps enormously the right "to be forgotten". All anyone who ever wanted to be forgotten had to do was move about two towns down the road.

Re:Try to make me forget. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591397)

You've never lived in a small town, I see.

Word gets around, even between nearby towns. Sally Ann will meet somebody new in town named Jim Bob. She'll mention this to her cousin a couple of towns over during a phone call. The cousin a couple of towns over will say, "Jim Bob?! Well, he was caught with his cock balls deep in a sheep's anus." Sally Ann, will, of course, treat Jim Bob differently. Sally Ann will, of course, also tell others in Jim Bob's new town what her cousin told her. They'll treat Jim Bob differently, as well.

Jim Bob's only hope in hell of avoiding this bad reputation would be to move to the nearest Big City, or to move to another small town several (large) states over.

Re:Try to make me forget. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591671)

You're being disingenous. Obviously in modern times communication and internet allows information to travel freely, but that was not the case even 100 years ago, when most people didn't have a telephone, and travelling a few towns away would take the whole day.

The point of the small town analogy is that for most of human history, the ability to be forgotten was rather easy to accomplish - although not without cost. The benefit of being unknown in a new town had to be weighed against the pervasive distrust of strangers. You started with a clean slate, but that meant a real clean slate - you might be an outlaw or anything, really, and had to prove yourself.

Re:Try to make me forget. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591769)

No, that is not how it worked in the past. You had to move to some place foreign for what you want to happen (ie: The new world Americas). The cost/benefit of new/strangers is only a US concept. It pretty much doesn't exist in most of the old world.

You couldn't just "move" into a new small town within your culture. People asked you point blank where you came from. This is why people ask for last name first and your first name is further down the greetings. When/how you greet, you basically tell people, "I am from this part of the country, from this sub-region, from this village, from this family, with this social standing, 2nd son of this guy, and am married with x children." All this information creates stereotypes and assumptions about how you live, behave, should be interacted with, and what people can expect of you.

If you change your lastname or not tell people your background, what will happen is people will assume the worst or at best you start from zero. Unlike the US, people can't live independently in most of the world. You need connections, you need relationships, you need collectives. Without it, you won't sell your widgets, you will pay a premium for goods, and your family will slowly disappear into obscurity cause negative rumors will fly. Without a background, people won't trust you and you won't have connections.

Now, in the new (current) world, this has changed drastically. You can actually be forgotten if you move from a small village to a big city. No one knows you and no one cares what boonies you are from... but that's the problem, no one cares and no one will life a finger to help you. Even here, if you want a good life, you need connections and for that, you need a verifiable history.

Of course I am generalizing the above, but that really is the way it is in most of the world. People may not remember that you wet your bed till you were 12, but they will remember that your 3rd cousin was a serial murdered. Its not that they are mean or evil or stupid or racist. They have lived for centuries where the danger came from those that were different from them. So they need to "credit rating" type of system for safety and security and this is what they came up with.

No, in small villages, YOU don't exist. You are just the most recent cog and are defined by the unforgettable history of your family.

Re:Try to make me forget. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591821)

No, in small villages, YOU don't exist. You are just the most recent cog and are defined by the unforgettable history of your family, which you can make up as you please (with consequences)

FTFY. I completely agree that connections are important, but you're assuming that anyone is truthful about their identity and their past, which is not the case, especially if they move to start afresh somewhere else. One added advantage in Europe was the plethora of small states and local dialects/languages, you could move 50km away and be literally in a different country.

Re:Try to make me forget. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47592039)

His-stories that aren't verifiable aren't considered real. Yes, most people will trust you, but without verifying your history, few will do business with you. And if people did find out you were lying... or that your [grand]father lied, it not only impacts you directly, but now becomes part of your family's history. You, [lastname], are liers and can't be trusted. Getting caught in a lie is a pretty heavy hit to the honor of the family. Move from a small village in France to a small village in Germany or vice verse. Both sides are very friendly to guests, but the village stranger that no one really knows anything about... that's quite different.

Again, this all changes with our currently world of mega cities.

Re:Try to make me forget. (1)

yacc143 (975862) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592203)

First, moving to a big city has been an option in most of Europe at least since the 19th century.

Second, Privacy legislation like in Germany does work, e.g. it has happened to me at least once that an Agency that I parted in a bad way (basically the customer was very embarrassing for the Agency, and I milked them by basically offering to discuss the dirty laundry of said customer in Court) has offered me a new contract only two years later on. Reason: Storing more than what is necessary is not legal, so most Agencies in Germany do not have databases storing long details about contractors, OTOH, they did have my CV in their DB (I supplied it to them, so they had the right to store it), and their IT could tell them that I had worked in the past (keeping invoices for accounting purposes is a legal requirement). The employees that had dealt with me, had moved on, so the only people who might have commented on my unfriendly (even if legal, I just insisted on my legal rights, which is something many contractors don't know about, and the others usually don't insist on them) behaviour where basically the CEO and the legal counsel. Both not guys you would ask about random potential contractors.

So yes, arguably, the European system of privacy protection DOES (or CAN if enforced) work. Think HIPAA, but applied to all areas, with certain shades of grey (different data about a person requires different levels of protection, e.g. you really really have better an explicit legal requirement to store say the religion or medical data about a person, these are are considered highly sensitive)

The problem is that it's completely incompatible with the way the US system works. (It's not only the Patriot Act, it's also the civil court system with subpoenas and so on, which treat personal data in the US completely incompatible with the EU requirements) And for the moment, the European pols have decided to look away. As always that works for some time, but now the Courts are slowly (really slowly) starting to point out issues.

What the real issue here is, IMHO, is that this "looking away" is giving an unfair competitive edge to US companies, which regularly are doing stuff with European data that would be strictly illegal for European companies. (I happened to have worked as a freelancer for US and for European companies)

So basically, the EU has basically the following options (ordered by personal preference):
1.) enforce the Privacy guideline also against US companies.
2.) drop the Privacy guideline and go with the US model where personal data is owned by corporate entities.
3.) do nothing, meddle through like it's currently doing.

The sad thing is, that if you order it by likelihood of implementation, you get 3-1-2. (3 because that's what the US lobby is working for, because 2 is unlikely, considering that Privacy is a basic (constitutional, even if we don't call it that way in the EU, it's always "Treaty of X" or "Treaty of Y", the pols got burned quite a bit when they tried to create a document called "EU Constitution") Human Right.

 

Re:Try to make me forget. (1)

guruevi (827432) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591403)

Feel free to move to Mars, I doubt they would know or care much about your hijinks. The world has become a small town due to the Internet. Small towns have their advantages but also their disadvantages.

Re:Try to make me forget. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591765)

Also, while small towns are subject to hearsay just like any other social group, if someone's reputation is unjustly being damaged they will have a much greater chance to set the record straight, or at least make clear that they dispute an allegation involving them so everyone knows there are at least two sides to the story.

On the Internet, it doesn't work the same way. I made this argument here once before. [slashdot.org] In a nutshell, the fredom of speech argument might cover putting something on a web site and linking to it from popular sources, but it doesn't guarantee to put it in context. It also doesn't guarantee that if a negative piece of information is later updated to reflect changing circumstances then everyone who saw the original negative comments will also see and understand with equal weight the subsequent changes.

These imbalances are fundamentally unfair to the victim, and this principle has been recognised by professionals for a long time. Courts famously seek "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth". In journalism, a basic principle is that if you're writing a piece criticising someone you also give them a right to reply, including actively inviting them to comment. But in the mob rule world of the Internet, no such professional ethics necessarily apply, and that is why it may be necessary to adopt new strategies so that technologies such as search engines can be stopped from (deliberately, maliciously, innocently, accidentally or otherwise) amplifying any damage.

Re:Try to make me forget. (1, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592187)

You aren't going to get very far with that argument with Americans. Most Americans have seen what governments that have ultimate control of what opinions their citizens can or cannot hold look like. They will never agree to live in a society where the government has the right to regulate opinion. They fully understand that the governments that regulate opinion are doing so for reasons they believe to be good, and reject the concept regardless.

Arguably what Europe is experiencing with the internet is what earlier generations objected to with American TV and movies. Google is exporting American culture, in particular the American's deep belief in freedom of speech. Americans are used to reliable and unreliable sources. The standards for libel and slander are very high for the "victim". As a result Americans are used to seeing mixed information including very critical information. This is very different than Europe.

European politicians have always objected to the American "negative advertising" for example. Many European journalists think it actually leads to better elections where politicians not only present the good stuff but their opponents are able to present the bad stuff. Listeners / viewers / readers are expect to make reasoned judgements about conflicting information.

Re:Try to make me forget. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47592851)

> Most Americans have seen what governments that have ultimate control of what opinions their citizens can or cannot hold look like. No they have not. Nor is it relevant, because the 'right to be forgotten' is not about controlling what opinions citizens can hold.

Re:Try to make me forget. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591337)

Thanks, you beat me to it. It's ironic that those who depend on Google to "remember" the past are also the most susceptible to Google's astroturfing games about the present.

Re:Try to make me forget. (1, Flamebait)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591409)

"some multi-billion-dollar megacorp decides to step in with technology", you mean writing? I am not sure who invented writing, but I do not think it was a corporation.

Re:Try to make me forget. (1)

yacc143 (975862) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592255)

Well, "writing" is not really an issue. What you might have meant was Gutenberg with the printing press. But even that's wrong, because printing something does not make the document accessible over long time spans. Even if it's published and widely circulated, after a surprising short time, only a tiny subset of the public (these that care about the subject) matter, might remember the original event and publication.

That's what libraries have provided as a service for a long time:

* books (and other publications)
* and an INDEX.

The index was usually by author, by title, by topic, and if you were lucky, by keywords. If something was not indexed, finding the stuff was basically a random happening.

So you could look up (with some work) what Mr X Y has published, or you could lookup "treaties about atomic proliferation", and discover by happenstance, that X Y has played a role in that topic. But that fact was known (as in can be "recalled") by a tiny set of scholars at best.

Now, you can lookup X Y directly, and you'll see not only stuff that X Y has labelled explicitly to be associated with his name (that would be what being an author means), but all kinds of facts, non-facts, lies, and so on about X Y.

So no, writing, nor the printing press are not the technology meant, it's more like "big data" and "automatic indexing".

Re:Try to make me forget. (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591459)

Actually no, that's not how life works.

Go apply for a US government job with some clearance and see how far that forgetting works while they speak to your 1st grade teachers and anyone else that knew you since birth.

And you can also apply that to anybody that would want to put the time and money to put a detective on you.

Back in the 1960s (or today even) I could write a book with some embarrassing anecdote about someeone, would they be able to order that pulled off the shelves? No.

The only difference here is "internet." Ah yes, now we're in the era of not just negative rights, which are relatively easy to enforce, and positive rights, which usually cause a clusterfuck wherever they are tried.

Re:Try to make me forget. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47593065)

Actually no, that's not how life works.

Go apply for a US government job with some clearance and see how far that forgetting works while they speak to your 1st grade teachers and anyone else that knew you since birth.

And that is EXACTLY how the world worked before. Only actors willing to spend the resource (practically only governments, as your own example demonstrated) could know about your past that most people have forgotten, AND they cannot hide the fact someone IS doing the digging, and it is also possible for you to talk to your 1st grade teacher to know someone HAD asked about you.

Compared to now where anyone can Google your past with practically zero cost expect their time, and you would not ever know about it no matter how many people had done it.

Re:Try to make me forget. (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591537)

available more easily and to a much wider audience than would otherwise be the case.

What the fuck does this even mean when 4chan and the Streisand Effect exist? Go leap in a tar pit, you're retarding the herd.

Re:Try to make me forget. (3, Insightful)

Brulath (2765381) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591735)

The Streisand Effect is quite overrated; I have serious doubts that even one percent of cases would actually invoke it, and suspect the fraction is even smaller than that. Same goes for 4chan and, actually, the news media in general; they find a couple of things and blow those up into huge scandals using creative storytelling, and let the rest slip past.

The Streisand Effect and 4chan are risks, but they're so unpredictable that it's probably not worth considering them as much of a factor in your decision to try and hide information.

Re:Try to make me forget. (2)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592013)

That's the way life worked up until the invention of writing.

Re:Try to make me forget. (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592453)

You've never been to a state library have you?

Your tax dollars do the same thing. Libraries around the world archive and index newspapers and have for many years. Being able to look back into history did not start with the internet, and definitely did not start with Google.

The audience is the same, the only thing that has happened is I can now look through history in the comfort of my home, whereas 30 years ago I would have had to put on pants and catch a train into town.

Re:Try to make me forget. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47592849)

"Actually, that's exactly the way life works, right up until some multi-billion-dollar megacorp decides to step in with technology that never forgets and that makes information (potentially including partial, inaccurate or misleading information) available more easily and to a much wider audience than would otherwise be the case."

Not really. We'll always remember that time you tried to balance the beer mug on your forehead and spilled it down your face and nice new shirt. Hilarious! I loved roasting you with that at your coming out party! We'll all probably keep reminding you of that for the rest of your life and then that's how we'll remember you until all of us die and your grandkids die cuz they're going to get a kick out how gramps got that scar... You're a riot mate!

Re:Try to make me forget. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591415)

In the old days if you did something stupid a few of your close friends/aquaintances would likely remember but other than that it would be largely forgotton. If you lived in a small town and it was something especially big the town might remember but you could still likely start afresh by moving to a new area.

Nowadays information about people is being collated and indexed to a massive extent, so it can be much harder to get away from the stupid in your past. Especially if you have an uncommon name.

Even criminal convictions in many countries become "spent" after a certain time because allowing one mistake combined with the general tendancy of hiring processes to allow small but easy to measure things to have a disproportionate impact to screw up someones life forever is not healthy for society.

Having said that I do wonder if the current "right to be forgotten" setup in the EU is a cure worse than the disease.

Re:Try to make me forget. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591615)

You're the ass who let yourself being gang bang by a bunch of junkies at a Motel 6. Don't blame Google for that, faggot.

Coming next (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591215)

Government will mandate that MIB flashy things be installed in all communication devices.

Re:Coming next (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591273)

GubMint will require a cellphone in possession at all times. additionally, it has to be ON and functioning according to their specifications. got an "old" one? violation and fine.

Re:Coming next (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591667)

Why don't you take your shit movie shit and shove it up your gay ass? Fuck you and fuck your pre-teen faggot films.

Supress the Press! (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591325)

Let's just censor the press and get it over with. /sarcasm

Saying things will be forgotten if it can't be Googled/Binged is like saying you won't get robbed so long as you don't post a sign that your door isn't locked. If a news outlet decides to "unforget" a person, then why not go after that media outlet, which is the source of the link that Google has indexed. I'm sure Google, even from a purely commercial point of view, won't keep serving dead links.

Re:Supress the Press! (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591697)

Saying things will be forgotten if it can't be Googled/Binged is like saying you won't get robbed so long as you don't post a sign that your door isn't locked.

Or, it's like saying you won't be robbed in a functional decent community, with security patrolling the streets regularly and enforcing laws. It's not a 100% guarantee, but if you deliberately let the neighbourhood decay with gangs and drug dealers ruling the streets, well you're an idiot.

Wrong Requestor? (1, Offtopic)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591399)

I don't think people like to be forgotten unless they've done something bad... and bad shouldn't have the right to be forgotten.

I think this right to be forgotten is by people who want to control the news, as having knowledge of the non-historic past in the news is power... it allows people to discover how things were solved elsewhere and solved before, and that allows good to triumph over bad.

Sorry bad, everything said in public that was captured and on an record should be available cheaply... the present price of old news is too high!

so surreal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591445)

This still makes no sense at all. In order to protect people's privacy, people are not allowed to simply tell the website that hosts the offending article to take the article down, but rather they are allowed to tell Google to stop mentioning the fact that it exists? Are people so dumb that they want to simultaneously deny and allow free speech? Why is a search engine company expected to be the ones who are now exclusively responsible for deciding which privacy requests are valid and which are not? Why the exclusive focus on Google, as if they are the only search engine in the world? The only way that any of this makes any sense is if you interpret it as a craven attack against a single company: Google. An impossible task is demanded in order to make punishment inevitable.

Orwell's Memory Hole (1)

Baldrson (78598) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591461)

Google has already mastered the art of Orwell's "memory hole" [wikipedia.org] . Just look at how Google manages to forget everything they know about search engines when it comes to their Usenet archives. Selectively applied, this is far more effective than anything so brute as Orwell's memory hole.

Re:Orwell's Memory Hole (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591555)

And while you pine for that which never was, I'll simply scratch my head and think, "Well, the Internet IS a single point of failure, innit?"

Re:Orwell's Memory Hole (1)

Baldrson (78598) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591861)

Not ultimately, but proximately, it is. For instance, the guys at the Hackers Conference ceased bringing their fragmentary Usenet archives because DejaNews had everything online and then -- poof -- only for Google to pick it up again and then go, "Duh!" We'll see how long it takes for complete archive to be fully indexed. I'm sure it will happen eventually. Meanwhile... [youtube.com]

Forget Europe (1, Insightful)

pubwvj (1045960) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591639)

I would like to suggest that Google forget the European regulators. That solves the problem.

The Europeans have not right to hide information from the world nor do they have any right to determine how things are happening outside their countries. Google should simply refuse to 'forget'. At the very least 'forgetting' should only be for requests within the European dimwits's borders. The rest of the world should remember, remember...

Re:Forget Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47593217)

Typical American in the belief you Own the internet and your way is the only way, it will be a good day for mankind when history can forget your brand of rabid corporate crony capitalism.

Republican love this... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47591663)

since mostly child molesters will benefit from it.

Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | about a month and a half ago | (#47591707)

The EU ruling does not require the information on a website to be deleted. Quite the opposite, it upheld the ruling against that by previous courts.

The EU ruling does not require Google to de-index the information. No, seriously, it doesn't.

What the EU ruling states, and this is made painfully clear by the court and also in the summary document, is that the link to the information not be coupled with the personal name. How Google chooses to implement that is Google's affair.

The Statute of Anne [wikipedia.org] is ultimately at the heart of this, because this is where ownership of information is first taken out of the hands of corporations and guilds, and placed squarely in the hands of individuals. The Data Protection Act, which stemmed from (again) corporations claiming ownership of information belonging to others - but this time often getting it wrong with life-threatening consequences, was in many ways a repeat of that battle.

In the case of the DPA, the stakes were higher. Computer glitches and operator errors declaring living people to be dead spread from computer to computer like an incurable cancer. With no redress, even if it meant your bank account was closed, insurance got cancelled and house repossessed. Even if you got a company to fix the data, it would merely get reinfected. Politically aligned "vetting" companies were making a fortune selling bogus information to prospective employers, ensuring only ideologically approved candidates would get hired.

I don't think people remember those days.

European privacy rules are intended to transfer rights to individuals, as per Statute of Anne, and attempt to prevent malign, inaccurate data from harming said individual. So far, so good. I'm amazed at the number of libertarians who are opposed to individuals having rights. The more they oppose such a notion, the more I'm inclined to believe the philosophy suspect. If core elements can be ignored when convenient, they're not especially core.

The EU laws and ruling might not be perfect, in fact I don't believe for a moment they are. But I reject the idea that a corporation has more rights than a person.

Some time back, when I argued that freedom of the collective could not be neglected in pursuit of freedom of the individual, there was much opposition. Mostly along the lives that collectives have no physical reality. I fully expect these to be the people most opposed to the EU ruling, on the grounds that collectives (because that's what a corporation is) have freedoms.

In other words, I believe people prefer cognitive dissonance to having self-consistent beliefs or to admitting error. Much better to split the mind than debug an ideology. Microsoft would be proud.

I'd love to see a sane, rational discussion on the issue. Particularly with experts in IT security as part of it, as they're the experts in handling the conflict between access needs and access controls, and between risks vs benefits, especially on historical data which may include flawed data.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592015)

I don't think people remember those days.

What you described is certainly a possible outcome, and a very, very bad one for the unfortunate individual concerned. It's akin to full-on identity theft in the damage it causes.

However, bad data doesn't even have to spread virally as much as you described to devastate someone's life. A single error in a key database such as a tax office, credit reference agency or criminal records system is both sufficient to cause serious practical problems and difficult to get cleared up.

I'd love to see a sane, rational discussion on the issue. Particularly with experts in IT security as part of it, as they're the experts in handling the conflict between access needs and access controls, and between risks vs benefits, especially on historical data which may include flawed data.

Not that I disagree, but I think first we need a debate on what privacy means in light of modern technologies. The practical rules and assumptions of yesterday will not protect the same values and principles when faced with the technology of tomorrow. Put another way, for the spirit of the law to be preserved, the letter of the law may have to change, perhaps dramatically.

Things we used to consider acceptable because they caused little real harm may not be so acceptable any more. The harm a small recording or disclosure causes may be greater in a world with indefinite storage, vast data mining efforts, and universal communications that are cheap and nearly instantaneous.

On the other hand, maybe some things we used to worry about will turn out not to cause real problems. Perhaps modern data mining technology also exposes anomalies or gives early warning of risks that would have remained unaddressed before, allowing us to prevent harm that would otherwise have come to someone.

As always, the technology is neutral and it will be how we use it that matters in the end. We certainly need to understand what that technology can and can't do, but perhaps the greatest challenge in this area will be reaching some sort of consensus on the moral/ethical implications of those new technological capabilities. Until we've done that, probably the best the law can hope to do is preserve the spirit of principles that have gone before to whatever extent they still make sense in today's world, including balancing the risks posed by large organisations with commercial incentives in our capitalist societies.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592209)

Assume that every opinion about you ever held by anyone who ever knew you was known and fully indexed.
Assume that this was true about everyone in the world.
Everyone has all sorts of people that hate them and have strongly negative opinions about them.
Everyone has people that like them and have strongly positive opinions about them.

Given this infinite database a reader can make a fairly good assessment of your actual character. Of the 18,700 that have an opinion about you if 400 think you are a liar and 12,700 think you are truthful (with the other 5600 having no opinion) you probably are mostly pretty honest but lie once in a while. If 12,700 think you are liar and 400 think you are truthful you likely are a liar. If you start becoming truthful then the data will overtime show a trend.

The solution to bad speech is more speech.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (2)

jd (1658) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592339)

Findings by researchers:

Bad news/opinions spread faster than good.
Bad news/opinions stay in the mind longer.
Critical thinking is absent from the overwhelming majority.
People don't think chronologically.
Everyone is guilty of cognitive dissonance.
People are less likely to hold good opinions of people they don't know.
People will cling onto false beliefs even when shown their falseness.

Conclusion: The average will always be against you. By a spectacularly large margin.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592755)

This can be tested with American politicians. Over and over again the public's opinion of them rises quickly even when the negative information is out there as long as it isn't being aggressively pushed.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592751)

Not that I disagree, but I think first we need a debate on what privacy means in light of modern technologies. The practical rules and assumptions of yesterday will not protect the same values and principles when faced with the technology of tomorrow. Put another way, for the spirit of the law to be preserved, the letter of the law may have to change, perhaps dramatically.

The technologies of today have not substantially changed from the technologies we had 20 years ago when privacy rules were put in place. CS algorithms are the same. Database principles are the same. Computers still have cpus, RAM, and hard disks. Networking is based on the old TCP/IP and UDP protcols from the 70s. Granted, we now use Javascript instead of C or VisualBASIC. We use HTML web apps instead of mainframe server apps and special client software.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47593433)

Differences in quantity can become differences in quality.

20 years ago, looking things up on a computer was not that different than looking things up in a library. It was slow, you needed to know all sorts of tricks to get to the right data, and physically speaking, there were very few places you could do it... in fact, you probably would have gone to the library to get online and look things up.

Each of those three factors (speed, ease, and location) has been changing dramatically - speed and ease throughout the 2000s, location mostly in the 2010s with the advent of smart phones - over the past 20 years.

So yes, the underlying technology has certain similarities between now an 20 years ago, but the impact that technology has on privacy has shifted more recently than 20 years ago.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47592083)

link to the information not be coupled with the personal name

That is completely meaningless drivel. That Google must decide what it means, while simultaneously being attacked from all sides for whatever they do or don't do, just proves that this ruling is, in fact, an impossible task which was intended as a personal attack on the company. Not once did you mention any other of the numerous search engines in existence.

The entirety of the rest of your post was somehow even more inane; just random bits of history, philosophy, vague hypotheticals, and insults.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (1)

jd (1658) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592323)

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t... [google.com]

Nobody has to decide what anything "means". The EU issued a very simple instruction - personal names cannot be used to search for outdated/false information. People who run businesses know part of the cost of business is that they'll be attacked. So long as they stick to the law, the attacks will fail. People complain and, in free countries, complain loudly on the Internet, TV and talk radio.

I don't like irrational complaints, but as there's nowhere rational to go, I have to deal with it. Google is bigger than me, and a good deal richer. (Rich megacorps with a reputation for evil getting defended on Slashdot for doing evil... Gone way downhill.) Why should I pity Google when they've the resources to deal with a few insignificant little gnat bites of complaints?

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47593801)

I can't speak for the other posters, but I strongly disagree with the right to be forgotten ruling, but I don't feel sorry for Google, for pretty much the reason you mention above.

But I do feel sorry for people who live in countries subject to the right to be forgotten ruling.

If a byte be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592197)

There isn't much to debate. The argument for most Americans (not just libertarians, I'm not a libertarian at all) is pretty clear. You own your opinions. You don't own other's opinions about you. If X has the right to control Y's speech then you simply don't have freedom. Americans simply do not want and will not tolerate a situation where their own government has the right to tell X what he can and cannot say about Y. They certainly do not want such a situation being imposed by governments in which they have no voice.

I can get Europeans want different rules. So stop using Google and use European search engines.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (1)

jd (1658) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592299)

Ok, let's take an example that Americans might understand better, the No Fly List.

We know bad data is on the list. We know the list is searched by name and not by identity. We know this results in false positives.

That is, nonetheless, a database of opinions. It is the opinion of the person adding the name that it belongs there. It is the opinion of the airport or airline security that some individual is the individual named.

It is MY opinion that the moment some Joe Average Innocent gets hurt by this, that the right of others to hold opinions suddenly gets forgotten, that the right to fair and honest treatment suddenly emerges as more important.

There were actual cases, in the 70s and 80s of US banks declaring customers dead. The bank, as a legal person, is entitled to opinions, according to the Supreme Court (Hobby Lobby case).

It is MY opinion that had this affected someone you knew, had they lost their home, job, money, credit, insurance and licenses because of an opinion of a non-corporeal being, that that someone would hold some very strong opinions on opinions.

There have been cases in the US of people dying in hospitals (particularly the ER room) because staff held the opinion they should be ignored, duty of care be damned. Others died from neglect, because the hospital was of the opinion that the room was empty.

It is MY opinion that had this affected someone close to you, you'd be telling a cop, a lawyer, a reporter or all three precisely where the hospital could stick its opinions.

In other words, many Americans only believe in the right of opinions that don't affect them. As soon as an opinion actually matters, as soon as a view is of consequence to that person, truth takes precedence.

To me, that's bullshit. If something's broken, it's broken. You can't sensibly argue it's only broken when you're around. That's not freedom, that's ego.

This isn't about opinions, though. NOTHING the EU said dealt with opinions, save that it was LAWFUL to publish them. What the EU prohibited was OUTDATED opinions and FALSE data being searchable under a person's name. If you search for it any other way, you're legally entitled to the link and content. That is completely protected.

How Americans choose to resolve that is their business. But computers in the EU are under EU law, not American law, just at computers in America are under American law. You've no sovereignty in the EU and computers aren't embassies (although America has tried to argue that.) Which is why the recent ruling against Microsoft is wrong. Ownership of the physical machine is NOT, under EU law, ownership of the data.

If, however, you side with Google on who has control, then US judges are entitled to demand any data in the EU on any computers owned by Americans. Even if those Americans have no American presence, since the judge did NOT argue point of presence was what mattered, only nationality.

I do not, and will not, tolerate arguments based on simultaneously held opposing beliefs. Not from you, not even from me. Look at the nightmare scenarios, all of which have happened to real, innocent people. Look at Snowden's publications. Think about all the things that matter to you that rely on privacy. Then tell me, flat-out, that you cannot think of a single situation where the right to associate (not publish, there's no issue about publication, just explicit association) might possibly be trumped by your right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" (as I believe someone once referred to it).

Hell, what was the American Revolution about? Not the right of King George to his madness, but the right of Americans not to be linked to it, surely.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47592735)

What the EU prohibited was OUTDATED opinions and FALSE data being searchable under a person's name.

What is an outdated opinion? Let's take the actual case. Person X's home went into foreclosure on date Y. A legal auction took place. Under his name the most prominent thing he had ever done, as defined by a listing in the most reliable sources was default on his mortgage. Google stated that by having this high on the search ranking. That is still true information today.

Ok, let's take an example that Americans might understand better, the No Fly List.

Excellent example. If this were a fully public database it would have negative information on tens of millions of Americans by law enforcement agencies. Statements about who they considered risky and why. Absolutely Good would be free to index this information and present it. That's completely protected free speech. So where do you want to go with this example?

There were actual cases, in the 70s and 80s of US banks declaring customers dead. The bank, as a legal person, is entitled to opinions, according to the Supreme Court (Hobby Lobby case).

That's not the Hobby Lobby case. Corporations were entitled to opinions prior to Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby was about whether corporations should be entitled to legal protections for the religious opinions. In America religious opinions grant protections against laws, the state is held to a higher degree of scrutiny called "compelling state interest". In Hobby Lobby the court found that Hobby Lobby had a religious opinion and thus the state had to meet compelling state interest.

There have been cases in the US of people dying in hospitals (particularly the ER room) because staff held the opinion they should be ignored, duty of care be damned.

The opinion is protected. The action is not. Someone is free to advocate in the USA that duty of care is a bad idea. That's a 1st amendment protected opinion.

In other words, many Americans only believe in the right of opinions that don't affect them. As soon as an opinion actually matters, as soon as a view is of consequence to that person, truth takes precedence.

You haven't shown that. So far your examples have missed the mark.

But computers in the EU are under EU law

Absolutely I agree. Google shouldn't be operating in the EU physically. European search engines should be.

Look at Snowden's publications.

Glenn Grenwald is not being prosecuted for publishing Snowden's statements. The state protects his free speech.

Then tell me, flat-out, that you cannot think of a single situation where the right to associate (not publish, there's no issue about publication, just explicit association) might possibly be trumped by your right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" (as I believe someone once referred to it).

There are situations where the state has a compelling interest in prior restraint. These should be far and few between and individually argued before courts. The right to make broad statements of compelling interest where censorship becomes the default, no I don't think that should exist.

Re:Gross misunderstanding of EU ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47593341)

Then we wont have to keep reminding you why all your Politicians and business execs chasing the profit in Europe are arrested ever time they get off the plane to make a deal.

Malicious Compliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47593079)

The EU ruling does not require Google to de-index the information. No, seriously, it doesn't.

It is obvious that Google have chosen Malicious Compliance, and using the most high profile news generating approach to comply with EU ruling, in order to generate pro-Google PR.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47592229)

Wouldn't this work better?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt03... [imdb.com]

Slip Covers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47592559)

I told Google to forget everything they know about me...so they did! and it was a load off their mind.

Then I told Google to delete everything they know about me, but they didn't know who the fuck I was talking about!

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