Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Should We Have a Right To Be Forgotten Online?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the just-be-less-memorable dept.

Privacy 210

rsmiller510 writes "There's a growing movement in Europe regarding a right to be forgotten online. It's a notion that might sound attractive on its face, but could have chilling unintended consequences for the historical record."

cancel ×

210 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Yeah. (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483614)

All I can say is, good fucking luck with that!

Re:Yeah. (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483838)

IDK, The British are pretty good at it.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-10/u-k-lawmaker-says-rbs-s-goodwin-obtained-super-injunction-.html

Re:Yeah. (2)

pla (258480) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483904)

IDK, The British are pretty good at it. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-10/u-k-lawmaker-says-rbs-s-goodwin-obtained-super-injunction-.html [bloomberg.com]

...And, with that single link, you've not only gotten around the intent of this unicorn-farts-and-pixie-dust "superinjunction", but made an entirely new and previously uninterested group of people (consisting of at least me) aware of his status as an evil banker.

So, while the British might grasp the idea of wielding the law as a maul, they still don't grasp the full power of the Streisand effect.

Re:Yeah. (1)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484098)

...And, with that single link, you've not only gotten around the intent of this unicorn-farts-and-pixie-dust "superinjunction".

Untrue, in this case. The superinjunction has been in existence for a while and gone unreported. The reason why it's known about now is that parliamentary speech is protected by the Bill of Rights.

Re:Yeah. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484422)

So, while the British might grasp the idea of wielding the law as a maul, they still don't grasp the full power of the Streisand effect.

It's not the British of course. 99% Of British people would be horrified if they knew. Or at least, in the good old British way, they'd ridicule it.

It's the rich and powerful. Right now Britain has a right wing government, that exists to serve the interests of the ultra-rich. Plenty of other countries have right wing governments that also serve the ultra-rich.

Anonymous Coward says "yes" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483618)

Anonymous Coward says "yes"
Thanks

Re:Anonymous Coward says "yes" (4, Interesting)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483830)

Exactly
1. Stop using your real name, use aliases or post as AC.
2. Use different aliases for each site.
3. Use disposable email addresses for temporary logins
4. Use anonkeys1 (etc) logins
5. Use TOR for sites/comments you want truly anonymous. Also use TOR to access the email address you register with (if you EVER access that address from your own IP, you've compromised the account... throw it out)

L2Protect your own rights if you care about them so much.

Re:Anonymous Coward says "yes" (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483944)

How did you respond to the Slashpoll, the one just to the right.

Re:Anonymous Coward says "yes" (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484476)

That's fine as far as it goes. But what about when someone else posts something about you using your real name and/or a photo of you?

Re:Anonymous Coward says "yes" (1)

the_hellspawn (908071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484610)

Deny...deny everything and blame photoshop.

Already have that covered (3, Informative)

Dishwasha (125561) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483642)

I just make sure that I am a very uninteresting person. You can also count on businesses going out of business and your data dying the obscurity death as well.

Re:Already have that covered (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483736)

I just make sure I have the same name as quite a few interesting people! Not for everyone I guess ;-)

Re:Already have that covered (5, Funny)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483758)

I just make sure that I am a very uninteresting person.

That's fascinating. Tell me more!

Re:Already have that covered (4, Insightful)

mordenkhai (1167617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484252)

Unless you have a contract stating that when a business does close, they destroy their databases etc, I would bet the first thing the people in charge of liquidating do is place a price on said information and sell it. Its easy, many marketers want all the data they can possibly gather, and its one more dollar they can squeeze out before shuttering the doors forever.

Public Forum. Get used to it. (3, Insightful)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483644)

A right, by definition, does not require action on the part of another.

You have every right to remove what you've posted to your own servers - but once you post to someone else's server, you've relinquished control of that information, permanently.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483704)

>>>A right, by definition, does not require action on the part of another.

Well said.
People just have to learn that what they publish, just like a newspaper, becomes a permanent part of the record. (Or at least until the paper or server dies.) Some servers like Google groups let you erase old messages but most, like slashdot, do not. (Which is why I post under aliases.)

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483796)

(Which is why I post under aliases.)

Dan? Dan Johnson? Is that you? How's it been, man?

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (5, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483714)

A right, by definition, does not require action on the part of another.

That's only true for negative rights. And while I agree with you that positive "rights" are just a pleasant sounding cover for forcing people to act a certain way, a large swath of the population (especially in Europe) holds those rights as dearly as the traditional right to be left alone.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483820)

Those are entitlements. I know some people use it as a dirty word, but its meaning is correct.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (2)

donutz (195717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483918)

How about privileges, for a less dirty-sounding word? Rights granted by God, privileges granted by government.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483990)

Privileges can work, but can be granted by non government entities. Entitlement is still more correct.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484406)

While you present a valid case for what you deem to be a right, it kind of flies in the face of established practice. Here is one example of a right which requires active participation of others:

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

"Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit."

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484562)

And if they had called it the entitlement to instruction instead, it would have been more correct.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

SeximusMaximus (1207526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484372)

Except God really doesn't create or enforce rights - that would be left to society and governments. The concepts of negitive v positive rights is one which will keep people spilling ink for generations to come. Even negitive rights require someone or something to enforce the right, as keeping someone from infringing on your negitive rights can require intervention.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484534)

No. You don't need a government to enforce your rights. As long as you exist, you can express them.You might get punished or killed for it, but you can always express that right.

Entitlements? not so. It is something that you do not naturally have, but is given to use.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484498)

Privileges can be revoked. They are not something you deserve, they are something granted to you that can be taken away essentially arbitrarily.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484578)

As there are no gods, the idea that rights are granted by one is obviously complete nonsense. Rights are granted by law, which is an action of a government.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483738)

A right, by definition, does not require action on the part of another.

You have every right to remove what you've posted to your own servers - but once you post to someone else's server, you've relinquished control of that information, permanently.

How about information gathered about you that you don't want out there and did not post? Like residences, incomes, vehicle registrations and other.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483770)

Just because it's on the Internet doesn't make it special.

What if someone out there knows your home address, and published it in a newpaper. Could you sue them or the paper for publishing it?

Take the emotionally charged Internet topic out, and lay it simply -- should you be able to forcibly censor someone from stating a fact? I don't.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483880)

Just because it's on the Internet doesn't make it special.

What if someone out there knows your home address, and published it in a newpaper. Could you sue them or the paper for publishing it?

Take the emotionally charged Internet topic out, and lay it simply -- should you be able to forcibly censor someone from stating a fact? I don't.

What about an unlisted phone number that was required for a property registration?

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (2)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483958)

How was the information obtained? Did you give it to them without stipulation? Public. Did they uncover it by breaking the law, or publish it with the explicit, demonstrable intent of harming the individual? That's another story.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (2)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484000)

If you do a WHOIS lookup on many personal .uk domains you'll see a name followed by "The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their address omitted from the WHOIS service."

This seems a good solution to me, and should apply to many other databases we once considered "public" (readable in person at the relevant library/government office) but don't necessarily want indexed on the web.

(IMO, the important difference is that paper databases might answer questions like "who owns 12 High Street, London?", but don't answer "what property does J Bloggs own?").

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484238)

Would be nice if we could do that here in the USA with data the government demands, does not protect and exempts itself from any wrongdoing.

So many slippery slopes... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484356)

What if someone out there knows your home address, and published it in a newspaper. Could you sue them or the paper for publishing it?

What if someone saw you leaving the office of an attorney who is well known for defending people accused of pedophilia? Can they set up a site named pedophile_lwsimon.org and publish all the time you spend at that attorney there?

No, being on the internet doesn't make it special, but it makes it googleable. It's like everything you say becomes instantly available to anyone. Not just like anyone who sees you at random on the street, but anyone who might have some special interest about you. like someone who holds a grudge against you, who is an adversary party at a lawsuit.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484244)

30 years ago, people loved to be in the phone book. What is that if not a public record of residences and phone numbers? vehicle registrations (i believe) are also a public record. Many people even love to boast about how much money they make.

I know there are reasons why we want privacy, aggressive advertising, paranoia about governments, psycho killers, etc. I wonder though if humans are inherently all that private. It seems like society didn't value privacy much until very very recently. It seems like a majority of humans have this desire to be a celebrity. I know this crowd doesn't contain a lot of people who want to win american idol or get on jersey shore, but be honest. Isn't there some yearn to publish a proof or something that calls some attention to yourself? It's a weird dichotomy that we want to be as private and famous as possible.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483746)

A right, by definition, does not require action on the part of another.

You have every right to remove what you've posted to your own servers - but once you post to someone else's server, you've relinquished control of that information, permanently.

This is exactly right, but let's not omit the corolary: If we want control over our information, we need to design systems where we're posting things to our own servers instead of someone else's.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484302)

Not really relevant. You post information via your server. Somebody copies it locally and redistributes it. Poof, it's out of your control. (This whole "information wants to be free thing" cuts both ways.)

If you don't want it in the public-knowledge domain, don't publish it. Period.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483936)

Not really, no. If you borrow something from me, my property right requires that you return it when I ask.

The problem here is that when you and I interact, we create a number of facts about that interaction. Untangling who owns what facts is a bit of a difficulty.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (2, Interesting)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484012)

A right, by definition, does not require action on the part of another.

Bollocks. I have the right to move down a public street (hence the phrase "right of way"). For me to exercise said right it may be necessary for someone to get their actual or metaphorical arse, unless they have a darn good excuse or they want to be prosecuted for obstruction.

Rights commonly require actions (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484278)

I have a right for you to stop your car when you have put it in danger of running me over.
I have a right for you to move out of the way if you are blocking access to a voting booth.
I have a right for you to get off of my property if I haven't given you permission to be there.

I wouldn't be so sure of that definition. Reality doesn't generally conform to absolutes.

Re:Rights commonly require actions (2)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484318)

Negative - you're simply inverting the questions. Rights may very well include restraints on the actions of others - they don't *require* that others act.

Restated:
You may not drive your car in a manner that puts others in immediate danger.
You may not use physical force to control the actions of others.
You may not trespass on the property of others.

Re:Public Forum. Get used to it. (1)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484646)

"A right, by definition, does not require action on the part of another."

I assume you're talking about moral rights. I assume you're not talking about legal rights, as those are dependent on the legal system involved, and so could require anything on the part of anyone, depending on how they are defined in legislation. In my country the proper authorities have the legal right to require me to join the military in certain circumstances, and that is plain fact, so you can't be talking about legal rights. You must be talking about moral rights -- which speak to what is morally permissible.

So if someone abducts your child, hides and locks her away, tells me (who nonetheless never wanted this and did everything in his power to avoid this) where she is, and then he kills himself, and you have proof of all of this, then neither you nor anyone else has the right to require me to tell you where she is, as a right does not require an action on the part of another, by definition? You would not be requiring me to refrain from an action, as I am taking no action otherwise, but actually requiring me to tell you, which involves an action of telling, not a refraining.

Or if some mad man has rigged thermonuclear devices which will, with provable certainty, kill every living thing on Earth only unless I in particular, completely unwilling, paint him a picture, then neither you nor anyone else has the right to require me to paint him a picture? You would not be requiring me to refrain from an action, as I am taking no action otherwise, but actually requiring me to paint a picture, which involves an action of painting, not a refraining.

To be honest, constructing examples to test your intuitions seems silly to me anyway, because I have a feeling you just made that up, and really the claim is not based on the definition of a "right", which you don't have, but merely your opinion.

Impossible (2)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483658)

As nice this may or may not be for some people, I'm pretty sure that it's next-to-impossible to be "forgotten" online unless you never posted or shared any content anywhere (or never even went online). Data doesn't have a collective "off switch" that you can just flip to delete everything everywhere relating to a certain person. Computers don't work like that at all (and while it's technically possible, have fun forcing every other person in the world to comply with it).

Just like real life (4, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483666)

In a way, the internet is a lot like real life. If you do or say something really stupid, chances are nobody will ever let you live it down anyway.

Re:Just like real life (5, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483728)

But, unlike real life there isn't likely going to be a documented transcript of your comments that can be easily copied, forwarded, and referenced by millions with a few mouse clicks.

Re:Just like real life (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483776)

My fiancée does that. Some of my gems include 'What must I do to get this chocolatey goodness out of you?!' after strugging with a chocolate cake in a clampack for about five minutes and 'Don't you just wish you could discharge your entire rectum at once?'

Re:Just like real life (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483986)

You know something dude? "What must I do to get this chocolatey goodness out of you?!' and 'Don't you just wish you could discharge your entire rectum at once?' should never ever EVER be used in the same sentence, kay?

Re:Just like real life (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484014)

Geez.

Protip: Never mention "chocolatey goodness" and "discharge your rectum" in the same sentence. EVER.

Re:Just like real life (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484612)

That reminds me of the Bakers Square restaurant that used to be here in town. Right out side the bathroom, they had a nice framed poster with a naked baby and a caption that said, "Our chocolate silk pie is smooth as ....". I always wondered what marketing genius thought it was a good idea to associate chocolate pudding with butts. Then, I would wonder what genius decided it was a good idea to post it outside the toilets.

Re:Just like real life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483860)

But, unlike real life there isn't likely going to be a documented transcript of your comments that can be easily copied, forwarded, and referenced by millions with a few mouse clicks.

They probably said the same thing around the time scribes and librarians started writing and archiving things. And around the time the printing press took off and books and news were being printed en masse (especially news). And around the time typewriters started getting consumer-buyable. And around the time any means of more easily storing and archiving information came about.

It's called "time moving forward". It's not good, it's not bad, it's not anything. It's just the way society and technology work. Deal with it.

Re:Just like real life (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484242)

.

But, unlike real life there isn't likely going to be a documented transcript of your comments that can be easily copied, forwarded, and referenced by millions with a few mouse clicks.

They probably said the same thing around the time scribes and librarians started writing and archiving things.

They almost certainly didn't, because they weren't retarded.

For one thing, it would take an economically unfeasible number of literate people (who were a tiny minority at the time) to produce (and continue to reproduce) the required number of copies at the required level of detail.

Secondly, viewing something written with candle soot on bits of dead goat requires close physical proximity. Not easy when the pinnacle of transportation is the horse, and only for those that can afford them.

Thirdly, "he hath said she hath said", even if accompanied by state-of-the-art tapestry or illuminated manuscripts, is hardly the same as HD video.

The final nail in your stupidophagus is that they had no idea what a mouse was, apart from a thing that eats cheese or a siege engine - neither of which makes a clicking sound.

Re:Just like real life (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484320)

They probably said the same thing around the time scribes and librarians started writing and archiving things.

We wouldn't know, as the records of MyFace Papyrus Edition have long be lost to the ravages of time.

Re:Just like real life (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484554)

Bah, "real life" politicians, actors, athletes and other celebrities have been having their comments taken out of context, printed and distributed across the world for years. Even an unlucky joe shmoe could have the same done, if they happen to say the wrong thing and just the wrong time (with the wrong reporter around). The internet just makes public stupidity egalitarian.

Re:Just like real life (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483740)

What always gets me is when you don't say it or it's actually insightful, but the other people are too stupid to recognize that.

The internet is problematic because once the information is up there, it's up there, and there's little to nothing you can do about it. And unfortunately, you don't necessarily have any control over what other people put up there that might pertain to you.

Re:Just like real life (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483846)

If you do or say something really stupid, chances are nobody will ever let you live it down anyway.

Notable exceptions include politicians, corporations, and especially political figures on corporate cable.

"Oliver North from Fox news is a felon and was illegally and secretly getting arms to Iran? That can't be right, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be on teevee unless he was a war hero/saint."

Re:Just like real life (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483870)

In a way, the internet is a lot like real life. If you do or say something really stupid, chances are nobody will ever let you live it down anyway.

In a limited fashion yes, but the degree matters. A lot of kids went waving a stick pretending to be a Jedi, but before the Internet there'd be no Star Wars Kid. Perhaps some would still have taped it, maybe shared around the school but it probably would have died down fairly quickly. Instead you have the Internet which is like pouring gasoline on a spark, spreading uncontrollably.

Internet is not just a place where stuff gets spread around, it gets connected. Head on over to /b/ and look for one of the threads where they match topless/nude/porn pics with that person's facebook profile, full name and contact details. How we look nude or having sex isn't that unique, but it's not like people want that cling to you for the rest of your life. It's not easy hiding from Google.

I wish you could say we'd all have just as much shit on each other, so it'd all work out. But you know and I know that's not going to happen, people will try pretending they're a saint until the skeletons come tumbling out of the closet.

Re:Just like real life (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483878)

Yes and we already have a lot of real world laws that are perfectly applicable in case of abuse:
- someone reposts an unflattering picture of you : copyright
- someone libels you : "right to respond" and libel law
- in the EU if you make a request a website (or another company) is obliged to send you the personal information they have on you and allow you to modify it as you wish.

The only thing I see that might be problematic is maybe when you make a statement online which later you no longer support, say for example a former neo-nazi wants to disavow statements he made on a discussion board. Posting the message implies agreement to publish but you could argue for a sort of "right to respond" after the fact by having the right to append a statement to your original message. Intentionally "forgetting" data seems like a bad idea to me though.

Re:Just like real life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484446)

That's naive, especially in the case of libel. Have you taken a look at how many defamation cases are actually fought and won in the U.S.? The judges have been taking a hacksaw to the concept of defamation in favor of free speech, because they don't want to deal with a zillion cases of people coming forward and suing each other for comments made on message boards, etc.

The largest problem with defamation laws is the statute of limitations and the concept of continuous publication. The U.S. courts don't view the web as continuous publication -- even though the chances of someone stumbling across any given page about you rises with every day that it's online.

Let's say I publish a page saying "CharlyFoxtrot touches himself in public!" And I do -nothing- to promote it. Chances are neither you nor anyone you know would even notice it for a year or two, as it slowly crawled its way up the search engine indices. And by then? Sorry, Charly, statute of limitations has passed, and there's nothing you can do.

So, what are we left with? Reputation.com, trawling the web for negative comments made about you, so that you can sue people before time runs out. But, oh, wait, the burden of proof is on you to prove that you -don't- touch yourself in public. Have you been keeping recordings of yourself every time you go outside, Charly?

In the case of private citizens, the right to be forgotten should be an enforceable one.

Re:Just like real life (2)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483962)

True, but that's stupid. People with great minds often say very stupid things - even Einstein appears on the Fortune Cookie program. You absolutely do not want to have the best brains crippled by socially-maladjusted bullies and gangster-wannabes, and the Internet makes for faceless victims with few (if any) rights. There is no solution to this out there, and nobody is within a decade or three of developing one. Therefore, there needs to be some intermediate solution that's not perfect, causes the least disruption, but can be made do with until something better comes along.

The BBC is currently running a story on Frankenstein's monster. It is worth noting that said monster started off a poet and a philosopher, only becoming savage and murderous because peer pressure said that this is how it should be. That is how people are, sure, but it is highly unnecessary and harmful to both the individuals and society as a whole. We choose to go down that road, but it is a choice and if we bothered to look we'd probably find far better roads to go down.

Just like real life, Accelerated and Expanded (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484056)

In a way, the internet is a lot like real life. If you do or say something really stupid, chances are nobody will ever let you live it down anyway.

The internet allows you to be stupid and observed being so at the speed of light, around the world.

This ain't yer grandaddy's world.

Correction... (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484204)

In a way, the internet is real life.

There, fixed it for you.

In 1995, a distinction between the Internet and "real life" might have made sense. Today, it's everywhere. Something like 20% of all romantic relationships begin online. You can get online at **McDonald's**.

People need to realize that pretending to be someone else online is about as realistic as driving to a neighboring county and using a fake identity unless they're really good and dedicated.

Other rights first (4, Insightful)

freakingme (1244996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483682)

I'd rather have some other rights first, like a freedom of speech without having domains seized etc, and a right to actually have an internet connection (France is taking away your connection after allegedly downloading something, and so will the US - it seems)...

Erase it. Now! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483684)

I want all of the things I've posted as Anonymous Coward for the past five years erased. All of these comments are "owned by the person who posted them," and I posted all of them.

Re:Erase it. Now! (1)

transfatfree (1920462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483764)

actually it says: "Comments are owned by Poster."

"Poster" is capitalized, so i assume it is a proper noun.

Whoever "Poster" is.. He owns a lot of words. :)

Re:Erase it. Now! (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484412)

Whoever "Poster" is..

Oh, that's 'Poster Childe'; he works for Sally Struthers.

Re:Erase it. Now! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483836)

Don't do it! He hacked my account but I can't work out how to reset the password.

Re:Erase it. Now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483960)

and I posted all of them
Not any more :-)

Re:Erase it. Now! (1)

balbus000 (1793324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484332)

It's bad netiquette to reply to yourself.

Oh I see, you must have dissociative identity disorder. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Erase it. Now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484378)

I am Anonymous Coward

Re:Erase it. Now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484546)

Never mind, I've changed my mind -- keep them all.

No (1)

Mr. McGibby (41471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483750)

Just like you can't make people forget all those things you said you'd wished you didn't, you can't do the same thing on the internet. You can try all you want and even make laws about it, but it won't work. Information is hard to control.

It's simple: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483752)

Nuke everything from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Re:It's simple: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483872)

Game Over, Man!

What scope are we talking about? (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483792)

Both articles are all over the place. Are we talking about blog posts? Or, are we talking about scrubbing search engines? Yes, I should be able to delete a comment I make from any blog or forum (hello Slashdot?). Sometimes you say something incorrect, something you regret, or simply a comment you've changed your mind about. I've had quite a few errant posts on different blogs and a handful I've wanted to take back. It makes life much easier if I can blow away my wrong information and the gazillion people jumping up to correct you rather than wasting readers' time going over garbage.

Now, scrubbing the historical record? Good luck with that, Nixon!

Re:What scope are we talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483952)

What about my right to not have my external memory tampered with? For the most part you are perfectly free to retract your comments in the same way you would do so in a normal conversation, what you are asking for is the equivalent of wanting to rip the memory of what you said out of other peoples minds.

Re:What scope are we talking about? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484362)

Yeah, totally. It's like that time that a neighborhood pharmacy made a type on a flier they distributed, and then collected the few that got distributed. Man, my head still hurts from the pain of losing those memories.

This is hard. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483876)

I would say that the closest existing principle that exists today is that information collected on individuals by Britain is subject to the 100 year rule - other countries may vary in the time they keep the information sealed. Such information is preserved but it is not available to do harm (in theory) within the probable lifetime of the individual.

I would argue that personal data held by corporations should be subject to a similar rule - it cannot be exposed to a broader audience inside a similar timeframe. In fact, I'd tighten up the rules a bit in places like the US so as to impose a European-style data privacy law (only one that actually works a bit better).

Blogs today are no different from editorials in newspapers a generation ago. The difference is in number. Indiscrete posts are not great but neither were indiscrete columns. As for the reaction, well, I put that down to society promoting the every-man-is-an-island view. If you can't cause consequences, not real ones, then why should you care what you say? Of course, we know that what you say and do does have an impact on others. There are always consequences for everything. The experiments proposed by various moral and ethical philosophies is how to optimize the result - maximizing the desirable consequences and minimizing the undesirable ones - though this assumes some agreement between people as to what is and is not desirable.

Should be a right to remove private information (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483928)

I don't know about an unrestricted right to remove any information pertaining to yourself, but I do think we should have online protection over details that should be personal, like phone numbers and home addresses. I'll give you the following example to illustrate this point. Several years ago I created an LLC. When I created it the form I used said that I needed to use a real street address instead of a P.O. Box. I should have put down a mail drop but decided to use my home address, thinking that if someone looked up my record they'd see it but that nearly no one would look for my company because it was a small home-based business that didn't interact with customers. Big mistake. My business did not work out and I closed it.

I periodically search for my name on the search engines to see what turns up. Usually only what I expect to see related to my name is what I find, but a couple of weeks ago I decided to search for my name and city and to my dismay I found two sites listing my old company along with my name and home address, and one of the sites (corporationwiki.com) has received a number of complaints over failing to respond to people over privacy abuses, and the site's owners hide behind a private domain name registration. There's a similar problem with real estate sites that crawl real estate records and make them accessible through the search engines. Thus, when I purchase property in the future I'm going to obscure the record by buying it through an LLC that will not carry my name on the public record. I'm currently investigating my options for getting it removed.

Now some will contend that my personal address is a public record and that I should be entitled to privacy for it. I disagree. The state of California made license plate records private information only available to investigators after a stalker murdered a Hollywood start after tracking her down through her license plate information. I think home address information should be private across the board and that a person should have a right to have it deleted if it appears publicly online.

Re:Should be a right to remove private information (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484036)

Private is the wrong word, especially if 'investigators' have special access to the database.

Maybe restricted, or personal.

This is not the Slashdotter you are looking for (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483930)

Nothing to see here.

Move along.

Why would anyone put their real info online?! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483950)

I don't get it.. why are these sheeple putting their real info all over the net? We hear it all the time, such and such gets fired because of facebook, or whatever..

Someone needs to teach people how to be an internet user me thinks!

Doesn't matter what they try to legislate, it's too late now. countless archives everywhere are full of your info.

Re:Why would anyone put their real info online?! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483976)

I don't get it.. why are these sheeple putting their real info all over the net? We hear it all the time, such and such gets fired because of facebook, or whatever..

Someone needs to teach people how to be an internet user me thinks!

Doesn't matter what they try to legislate, it's too late now. countless archives everywhere are full of your info.

Insecure.

The more people need to pump their ego the more they try to find interesting bits to post on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogspot, etc.

I'm well adjusted and can prove it.

I can post anonymously any time I choose. ;)

Historical record (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483992)

What's "historical record" worth if there are still people that say, despite all the evidence, that the earth is only 6000 years old :)

Nineteen Eighty Four (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484004)

Among all the other bad things about such a proposal, there's the problem that it would require a mechanism as powerful as the Ministry of Truth in Orwell's _1984_ to pull it off.

Re:Nineteen Eighty Four (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484086)

Among all the other bad things about such a proposal, there's the problem that it would require a mechanism as powerful as the Ministry of Truth in Orwell's _1984_ to pull it off.

You can remove your mark, but it's a big SQL sentence.

The worry is who holds the right to commit and whether they preserve rollback.

Is this really an issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484018)

With the pace of change, isn't the question actually whether or not anything saved digitally is even going to be readable 100 years from now? If it isn't readable, then it is effectively forgotten for the most part anyway (yes, it isn't really gone but by then would the person affected care much?)

Is it better to say that what these individuals really want is immediate anonymity? In which case how is an online posting (as others have pointed out) any different than some of the silly things we've all done being known by those around us? Just on a much larger scale :)

The *right* to be forgotten (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484022)

Does that mean we can extend our second amendment rights to possession of a concealed <flashy thing> [blogspot.com] ?

I'd opt instead for an 'unsee' button (1)

FlapHappy (937803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484032)

If someone could figure out a technology that would allow me to forget things like "2 Girls 1 Cup" while allowing everything else to remain intact, I'd be eternally grateful.

Oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484066)

The internet is the historical record now? My, don't we live in historical times!

Personally I do think that the needs of the living outweigh the needs of the yet-to-be-written historical record. I'm not about to give up privacy because some scholar later might want to write some dissertation on this or that boring little subject. What that is to mean for the current proposals remains to be seen, but do mind your priorities please.

Never. Never ever. (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484074)

I will always remember you. I will make a time capsule and put your data in. Even people of the future will see your posts. Make your time.

privacy, censorship, intellectual property (1)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484078)

I'd correct one thing. Fleischer describes privacy regulations as "censorship". I doubt that he would call intellectual property laws "censorship", but one isn't more "censoring" than the other--they both prevent you from transmitting or storing information.

In general, I'd like to see one standard for corporate databases of private information, and another, weaker, standard for individuals publishing information. Where those activities intersect (me publishing my information on a corporate service), I'd like tighter regulation on how the corporation uses that information (e.g. don't datamine my "friends only" social network posts to see what brands I prefer and notify interested retailers.)

You're entitled to free speech... that's it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484124)

You're entitled to free speech but anything you say can and will be used against you on the internet. If you didn't want people to hear you speak, you should have written in a diary, not a blog.

In order to establish your rights, you must log on (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484128)

Which defeats the purpose.....its a conundrum.... what came first, an actual person with no rights, or an hypothetical person's actual rights?

The article is missing one important detail (1)

webbiedave (1631473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484172)

You see, the information will be forgotten via a new technology in which a secret agent will hold a pocket-sized device towards the computer whilst donning fashionable sunglasses. The device, when activated, will shoot out a laser SO POWERFUL that it will instantly erase all cookies, database records, text files, memory strings, hell even tape backups, pertaining to the desired user from existence. Pretty impressive stuff!

Don't do things you wish others would "forget". (1)

Restil (31903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484184)

Once you reach a certain age, the things you do, the decisions you make, the things you say... they all matter. Of course, prior to the internet, all of that mattered a whole lot less. You could do something of colossal stupidity, have newspaper, radio, and TV coverage of the event, and even have people write books about you, and a couple years later, the public at large would barely remember. Now, get your name mentioned anywhere and it will always be one google search away. So, knowing this, behave in such a way that when people go searching for you, they don't find much of anything bad, because you never did anything to justify someone mentioning it. Likewise, when the opportunity to be a douche online presents itself, it might be responsible on your part, as a steward of future good will toward yourself, to fail to rise to that particular challenge. Don't blame the worms because you were stupid enough to open the can.

-Restil

No. (1)

sstamps (39313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484214)

"unknowing" information can never be a right. It goes counter to the entire flow of knowledge.

If you don't want to be known online, then don't put anything about yourself online. Period.

Asking for the global mind to "un-know" you is ridiculous and rather impossible.

Killing the conversation (1)

nrozema (317031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484288)

I run a large (4M+ post, 20k+ member) forum and inevitably receive requests from members every so often asking if their username, including all of their posts, can be deleted. To date my answer has been a resounding "no", with the primary reason being that removing one voice from a thread often results in a garbled mess that compromises the integrity of the archive. Much of the content is technical, so removing every third post because someone changed their mind can make the entire conversation worthless.

IMO once you've participated in a conversation in a public forum - electronic or otherwise - the decision to redact it is no longer yours alone to make.

Natural advantage of age: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484312)

I had the luxury of making those stupid newbie posts on the Plato system starting in 1979. (Though, there are some archives somewhere, I think.)

Now, I just have to worry about all the stupid posts I made on Usenet when I should have known better.

And even worse, all the pointless flamewars I got into here on Slashdot.

Don't worry. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484574)

You'll be forgotten. And not just "on-line".

No, you don't have that right (1)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484624)

Do you have the right to be forgotten by people you meet and interact with? No, you don't have any right to edit their memories or control what they write about you, aside from slander and libel restrictions. And even then I'd argue you don't have a right to prevent them from saying or publishing anything they please, only a right to collect damages from it.

So why should you have a right to be forgotten by our prosthetic memories, aka computers? If you cannot control what is written about you in newspapers, private correspondence or stone tablets then why believe you have a right to control what is written about you in magnetic fields and optical patterns?

Any argument that applies to paper applies to the computers and ultimately it applies back to human memory which you don't have a right to control.

Sure there is a matter of scale. A computer system can use and report its memories about you, doing in seconds what would take people years of research to do using written records. But it isn't a difference in type. Even without computers a historical researcher or private investigator could still dig up everything you'd ever written and everything written about you, get reports of everything you'd ever told your neighbors and find copies of every photograph taken of you in high school.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?