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Europe's 'Right To Be Forgotten' Threatens Online Free Speech

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the when-rights-fight-rights dept.

EU 410

An anonymous reader writes "Jeffrey Rosen, Legal Affairs Editor for The New Republic, explains why the E.U.'s proposed data protection regulation known as the right to be forgotten is actually 'the biggest threat to free speech on the Internet in the coming decade.' In the Stanford Law Review Online (there's a shorter version in TNR), he writes: 'The right to be forgotten could make Facebook and Google, for example, liable for up to two percent of their global income if they fail to remove photos that people post about themselves and later regret, even if the photos have been widely distributed already. Unless the right is defined more precisely when it is promulgated over the next year or so, it could precipitate a dramatic clash between European and American conceptions of the proper balance between privacy and free speech, leading to a far less open Internet.' According to Rosen, the 'right' goes farther than previously thought, treating 'takedown requests for truthful information posted by others identically to takedown requests for photos I've posted myself that have then been copied by others: both are included in the definition of personal data as "any information relating" to me, regardless of its source.' Examples of previous attempts this might bolster include 'efforts by two Germans convicted of murdering a famous actor to remove their criminal history from the actor's Wikipedia page' and an 'Argentine pop star [who] had posed for racy pictures when she was young, but recently sued Google and Yahoo to take them down.'"

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Link to racy pictures of Argentine pop star please (0)

Phlow (2488880) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025785)

Bueller?

Re:Link to racy pictures of Argentine pop star ple (3, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026027)

Apparently her name is Virginia Da Cunha, so just go to Google pictures and search for "Virginia Da Cunha racy photos [google.com] " (warning: NSFW! )

Re:Link to racy pictures of Argentine pop star ple (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026083)

You know,

I would be totally cool wit the idea of re-setting the entire planet to, like, 1977.

Re:Link to racy pictures of Argentine pop star ple (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026157)

I would be totally cool wit the idea of re-setting the entire planet to, like, 1977.

Jimmy Carter again?

Surely, you jest.

Re:Link to racy pictures of Argentine pop star ple (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026357)

No, I'm not joking. And stop calling me Shirley.

Re:Link to racy pictures of Argentine pop star ple (3, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026465)

Compared to Ronny RayGun, the Bush Bandits, and Slick Willy, Jimmy Carter was a breath of fresh air. And of course, who could resist the tales of his brother Billy? The 'bubbah' was a train wreck, but amusing as hell.

Re:Link to racy pictures of Argentine pop star ple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026805)

Compared to Ronny RayGun, the Bush Bandits, and Slick Willy, Jimmy Carter was a breath of fresh air. And of course, who could resist the tales of his brother Billy? The 'bubbah' was a train wreck, but amusing as hell.

What ever happened to Billy Carter and Billy Beer?

Re:Link to racy pictures of Argentine pop star ple (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026301)

I think they tried that on Lost.

Re:Link to racy pictures of Argentine pop star ple (3, Informative)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026587)

an 'Argentine pop star [who] had posed for racy pictures when she was young, but recently sued Google and Yahoo to take them down.

Fortunately, Google sucks so badly now that she doesn't have much to worry about. A search for her name in Google Images brings up mostly pictures of other people, including various men, and many pictures that contain no people at all.

Re:Link to racy pictures of Argentine pop star ple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026123)

So some Jewish advocate of a pervasive, mega-corporate state cites privacy as an enemy of free-speech - in a right-wing rag that cheerleads imperialism and zionist aggression?

Colour me unimpressed by the overlords.

Uh huh. (5, Funny)

owenferguson (521762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025811)

Wish I could forget about Natalie Portman, petrified, and covered in hot grits...

Re:Uh huh. (5, Funny)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025847)

Wish I could forget about Natalie Portman, petrified, and covered in hot grits...

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...

Re:Uh huh. (3, Funny)

owenferguson (521762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025985)

In soviet south Korea, old people help robots make petrified grit Beowulf clusters of YOU!

Re:Uh huh. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026013)

using email

Re:Uh huh. (2)

owenferguson (521762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026315)

Just because it's done using email, that doesn't mean it should be patent-able...

Simple: compromise (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025823)

Sometimes the right to life threatens the right to free speech (when people want to shout "fire") sometimes the right to free speech threatens the right to free movement (when people set up web sites to track others and become stalkers). What we do is compromise and weigh up one right with another. It's not so complex. Hell it's even built into the European court systems already.

Re:Simple: compromise (2)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025881)

The First Amendment holding in Schenck was later overturned by Brandenburg v. Ohio in 1969, which limited the scope of banned speech to that which would be directed to and likely to incite imminent lawless action (e.g. a riot). The test in Brandenburg is the current High Court jurisprudence on the ability of government to proscribe speech after that fact. Despite Schenck being limited, the phrase "shouting fire in a crowded theater" has since come to be known as synonymous with an action that the speaker believes goes beyond the rights guaranteed by free speech, reckless or malicious speech, or an action whose outcomes are blatantly obvious.

You can shout fire in a crowded theater in the US anymore. (That is not to say that you're not going to be liable for any damages caused by it, after all, you can also drive a car, but it won't excuse you from any damages caused by your doing so.)

Re:Simple: compromise (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026189)

but it won't excuse you from any damages caused by your doing so

Or, more specifically, it won't excuse the people who actually stampeded over other people trying to 'save' themselves.

Re:Simple: compromise (3, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026533)

The question is what right do you have to reclaim your personal information from the web.

For example there is one group of people who the rest of use want to know about before we interact with them, psychopaths. Once the pattern of behaviour has been established crimes against people, do they have the right to be able to publicly hide or do we have the right to protect ourselves from them, which we can only do if we have foreknowledge of who they 'really' are.

The flip side is of course do people have the right to prevent corporations from gaining sufficient information to be able to manipulate the decisions and choices, not just adults but also children. Corporations have publicly demonstrated a complete lack of qualms when it comes to psychologically manipulating children regardless of the psychological harm it causes as long as there is a profit it (sick corporations employ even sicker doctorates in psychology to more effective achieve this, doctors paid to cause harm upon a mass scale).

The difference here seems to be what information individuals can save and share, what governments can retain and distribute in the public good and what corporations can use to data mine in order to manipulate and control. More than just the data, what is done with the data is far more important.

So Google and Facebook retain a lot of data, often on behalf of individuals and not directly, what should they be allowed to do with it and what audits should they be subject to, in order to limit abuse of that information. What information should people be able to remove and or correct and what process needs to be established to facilitate this, whilst not allowing people who cause harm to others to 'hide' their behaviour so they move from locale to locale to continue their abuses.

Re:Simple: compromise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026661)

If there was ever an example of 'positive any more'* being misplaced, it would be here, due to the use of the "can" modifier.

You can shout fire in a crowded theater in the US anymore.

I assumed you made a typing error and meant to write "can't", which completely changes the meaning of your post.

Please, no more positive any more, any more!

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_anymore [wikipedia.org]

Not sure why this is even up for debate (2, Insightful)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025833)

The idea of a "right to be forgotten" is just stupid on the face of it. What are you going to do about people who know the thing in question that you're trying to get them to forget? Electroshock? Room 101, maybe?

Rob

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (4, Insightful)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026071)

There's a difference between people knowing stuff now, and in 10 years a prospective employer looking at stuff that's on FB or Google now. What is relevant now might not be relevant later. But I know a few HR drones who wouldn't distinguish between me now and me 10 years ago.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (3, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026151)

So don't post your life story on Facebook you nitwit. Those of us that refuse to use that damn privacy breaching POS know just like you do that in 10 years you ARE going to regret something YOU voluntarily put up there that is going to come back and haunt you. Making it a law that you can demand companies delete all information you not only posted freely, but that you voluntarily signed a contract allowing them to keep the data forever is just plain stupid. If you are dumb enough to post all that personal information to Facebook you shouldn't be surprised when it comes back to haunt you, nor should you have a legal right to request it's removal.

All this bill would do is ensure that Google, Facebook and others completely shutdown all local European presence. That means all those local jobs go away and all legal recourse is gone while at the same time everyone keeps using it. Unless of course you're willing to implement the great firewall of Europe and join China in a world where the powers that be can decide to rewrite history.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (5, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026311)

You're broadly right, but you're missing the fact that some of the information about you is gnoing to show up without you having posted it yourself. There might be both true and false statements made by others about you, or even made by others impersonating you. There should be laws that allow you to correct that if you find out, because like you say, in 10 years time that prank statement about you that someone else made will still be around and look like the honest truth.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026403)

Libel laws already protect people against false statements made about them.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026541)

And libel laws can prevent publication. But in the internet space, that would still require all companies to implement technological measures that make arbitrary removal of information about their customers possible. In other words, there's no added burden to companies that doesn't already exist from libel laws, but allowing customers to directly request removal from the company would actually save money on unneccessary litigation.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (4, Informative)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026381)

The problem is that without this kind of legal entitlement you can not control what others publish about you.

For example, I've played World of Warcraft in the past, and as a result my characters have an activity feed associated with them showing timestamps with minute precision that I've never actually intended to share. Now the only thing require is for someone to leak who my characters are in the game and everyone online can tell exactly what I've been doing. These are things that, without such protections, you can not control, and they are a lot more complex and harder to avoid than directly posting your life to Facebook.

Other examples would be, for example, someone taking an innocent picture of themselves at a specific disclosed location featuring your vehicles number plate in the background. Thanks to that picture, now everyone knows where your vehicle was when it was taken, and without such rights there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026525)

You never know how the law or society turns out in the future. About 15 years ago it would have been kinda funny to dress as a suicide bomber for Halloween. Think it might be taken the wrong way if seen today?

All it takes is something you say or do and take a picture of is somehow being connected to some kind of criminal (or worse) behavior. Imagine the whole bull about "violent games" gaining traction again and you posting a pic of you playing some FPS game. Today, certainly no problem. But how's it going to work out in 5 years or 10? Maybe someone won't employ you because you're connected to "violent behavior".

How about letting the whole fat food craze go overboard as it usually does when people get hyped up? Consider yourself being shunned for that pic showing you wolfing down that Big Mac.

Or how about the worst case scenario, where you're in a picture with someone who later commits some kind of horrible crime? You didn't know about it, for you it was just some guy you knew, but now you're the guy who is very obviously a close buddy of a pedo. Here, I have the pic to prove it.

"Don't post an incriminating or embarrassing picture" is easily said, but you don't know today what will happen tomorrow. You don't know what pictures might come back to haunt you. So we may only post those crappy "please say cheese" lifeless pics that have been cleaned of any kind of background so they cannot, under any circumstances, be taken the wrong way?

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (4, Insightful)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026655)

Why should I be restricted by you? My right to privacy should exceed corporate "rights" to maximise future profit.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026703)

So don't post your life story on Facebook you nitwit.

So if someone makes a relatively small mistake they should be forced to pay for it for the rest of their lives? Society doesn't work like that, even quite nasty criminals are eventually forgiven and don't have to declare their crimes when applying for jobs and the like any more. Getting a bit drunk and posting some stupid pics on Facebook is a fairly minor indiscretion in comparison.

People, especially young people, make mistakes. It doesn't make them nitwits, it makes them human.

but that you voluntarily signed a contract allowing them to keep the data forever is just plain stupid.

Well apparently people signing unfair and stupid contracts is so common we had to invent consumer protection laws and contract law to protect them. There is also the fact that if a company breeches a contract your only option is to sue them which is expensive and risky, so for stuff that is blatantly abusive we legislate against it as a kind of mass civil legal action by society.

You will get modded up for ranting against all the morons living in their idiocrasy, but the need for legal protections is well established and understood.

Re:So don't post your life story on Facebook (5, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026845)

Sorry, I think a bigger risk is at stake.

You're right in the "coldly rational" sense that the old Economists used to go by. The problem is that there are a couple of smart evil critters at senior manager positions in these companies, who discovered that 20 billion dollars of influence can create the greatest Social Hack of the last 25 years. America forgot that the chief problem of small insular towns with only 200 people in them was that you could never escape The Day That You Insulted Mrs. Chadwick, because Nobody Insults Mrs. Chadwick.

With the advent of city conditions, people became too busy working to worry about The Disgraceful Remark. In a Post Insult-To-Mrs. Chadwick World, the world ... in a city... would be ... the same!

Now with the social services, the search engines are creating a passive version of that Long Memory, that does nothing for you when you behave, (mostly), but records forever when you don't.

Combined with outright malicious abuse by both the companies and the government, people aren't "just choosing" anymore. They need a little help.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026669)

What is relevant now might not be relevant later. But I know a few HR drones who wouldn't distinguish between me now and me 10 years ago.

The best solution to this problem being to let everybody embarrass themselves. When everybody looks like an drunk-ass moron on Facebook, employers won't be able to use those photos to discriminate against perfectly qualified applicants.

But hey, if the EU wants to plunge themselves into the IT Dark Ages, let 'em.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026081)

Room 101. If anything can make you remember something differently it's room 101.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026133)

I agree, I dont see this as a threat to free speech, I think we will still be able to publish what you think more or less. I think the EU law is more about data protection and what businesses can do with the information they have directly or indirectly gleaned from you. And your rights to have that data destroyed. To make this a threat to "free speech" issue is like wrapping the argument in a "think of the children" issue. The only threat I see is to some major (american) advertisers business models. The call of a threat to free speech sounds like a political call to rally the support of the american public.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026175)

in a nutshell, it means that as a civilian, you have the right to ask a company to delete your data. That's actually a good thing in that it gives power to the consumer. And I wouldn't object if Google or FB invested that 2% into a good mechanism for deleting user data.

That differs from 'free speech' dramatically. TFA blurs this distinction. It's not "free speech" when FB or Google sits on user data and is not legally required to delete it, when the user asks for it.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026225)

Don't know if comment was meant seriously, but 'the right to be forgotten' is actually meant to be that if you tell fb to delete a photo they have to actually delete the photo. Seems fair to me.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026243)

I don't care if my college friends remember what we did 15 years ago. We were all equally stupid back then.
But I don't want my future potential employers finding out about it by crawling Facebook about it.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026559)

You shoulda thought of that before you hooked up with the 3 cheerleaders, the midget & the giraffe at that frat party.

I hear the giraffe is still pissed cause you didn't call her.

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026351)

What are you going to do about people who know the thing in question that you're trying to get them to forget? Electroshock?

Actually, no, we've been all recently told that electroshocks actually helps [slashdot.org] you remember [slashdot.org] . Since you seem to have forgotten the news, are you sure you don't want to try it?

Re:Not sure why this is even up for debate (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026361)

Before the internet if you met a stranger and wanted to know about them you had to do a lot of work. Searching through decades of past newspaper articles on microfiche for keywords is impractical, but typing their name into Google isn't. This key difference might seem like a technicality based on the available tools, but it changes a very important social norm: the fact that things we regret or are embarrassed about are naturally forgotten.

Everyone did stupid things when they were younger. Some people they were at university with know about them, but if they go to a random job interview or start seeing a new partner that doesn't matter. The problem for the current generation is that anything stupid they do is well documented on the net and available to anyone. Even if you set your privacy controls anyone can copy/paste that image and tag it, and most sites won't even let you see that other people have such images on their accounts if you don't register and become their friend first.

Well, self-regulation hasn't worked, so ... (3, Insightful)

stereoroid (234317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025863)

Facebook et al have been warned about their misuse of users' data for years now, and have shown no signs that they take privacy seriously. So it's going to take regulation to rein them in. I'm not sure how I feel about this, , but my opinion wouldn't change anything, and the "free speech" argument is spurious. Was speech somehow artificially "restricted" years ago, just because the Internet hadn't been invented? "Social networking" could go away tomorrow, and we'd all survive just fine.

Re:Well, self-regulation hasn't worked, so ... (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026055)

Yes, I'm sure this will be better.

Re:Well, self-regulation hasn't worked, so ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026583)

I want to see Facebook hog tied with strict privacy laws.
If it survives then ok. If it dies, nothing of value was lost.

quick - send in the army (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39025907)

and try to take over europe as well, how dare these europeans do something we don't like?

And requires tracking (4, Insightful)

saikou (211301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025917)

One aspect that doesn't seem to be obviously stated in the article, that in order to be certain what is related to the person who wants to be forgotten, online systems have to implement a rather tight tracking of this information. So if someone re-post picture on the Facebook, Facebook would have to check it against hashes of all other FB-hosted images to know where the origin is from (and re-share tags for all depicted users).
If I can't find something related to you -- I can't remove it.

And bonus -- multi-user content. If user A wants to be forgotten, but photo contains also users B and C, removing it might violate rights of other users (unless there's going to be a little digital eraser applied to the tagged face)

Re:And requires tracking (4, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026419)

One aspect that doesn't seem to be obviously stated in the article, that in order to be certain what is related to the person who wants to be forgotten, online systems have to implement a rather tight tracking of this information. So if someone re-post picture on the Facebook, Facebook would have to check it against hashes of all other FB-hosted images to know where the origin is from (and re-share tags for all depicted users).

Not hard, there are plenty of sites that do just that in fact. Tin Eye, for example, can take an image you upload and find identical but resized or partially distorted (with logos or cropping etc) versions.

If I can't find something related to you -- I can't remove it.

The onus would presumably be on the person asking for the information to be removed to find it. That is the way the law currently works - someone could write something libellous about you but keep it in a locked drawer in their house and there would be no way for you to find out about it, but then again why would you care?

And bonus -- multi-user content. If user A wants to be forgotten, but photo contains also users B and C, removing it might violate rights of other users (unless there's going to be a little digital eraser applied to the tagged face)

What right is that? The EU is talking about human rights, so stuff like copyright is trumped. That has always been the case.

Re:And requires tracking (3, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026841)

"The EU is talking about human rights, so stuff like copyright is trumped. That has always been the case."

Absolute privacy is not a human right. Construed as a human right, there's no such thing as a right to be forgotten.

Summary (5, Interesting)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025947)

Europe's new privacy law could cost Google up to 2 percent of their income, which obviously threatens online free speech.

Re:Summary (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026047)

Thats actually pretty cheap as far as tax rates go. I wish my local sales tax was only 2 percent, or my income tax was only 2 percent.

Re:Summary (1)

chrylis (262281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026577)

GP is a troll, but the law's talking about revenue, not profit (which is what's usually meant by "income").

Hi. I don't see a reason for a clash. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39025949)

Unless the right is defined more precisely when it is promulgated over the next year or so, it could precipitate a dramatic clash between European and American conceptions of the proper balance between privacy and free speech, leading to a far less open Internet.

Speaking as an American, I want the European version of privacy and the American version of Free Speech.

In other words, I don't want some motherfucking marketing firm tracking me to sell me their shit - and it's always shit - and sell my information to the Government because they want to track "terrorists" or whatever to justify they're existence.

Which implies the desire for European privacy. They don't need to know who the fuck I am. WTF? Speaking as an atheist in the Bible Belt, I can tell you, anonymity is a goddamn blessing.

Otherwise, I'd need a god given machine gun to defend myself against these Goddamn Jesus freaks who think they need to kill me for not believing in their Sky God.

God Damn Motherfuckers!

Re:Hi. I don't see a reason for a clash. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026065)

In other words, I don't want some motherfucking marketing firm tracking me to sell me their shit - and it's always shit - and sell my information to the Government because they want to track "terrorists" or whatever to justify they're existence.

you are talking as if the two are two different parties. facebook's ancestor started as a university project to find saddam hussein through his social connections, and it still has connections to 'intelligence' services.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ix=sea&ie=UTF-8&ion=1#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&site=webhp&source=hp&q=facebook%20backed%20by%20cia&pbx=1&oq=&aq=&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&fp=2ea555e16508ec1f&ix=sea&ion=1&ix=sea&ion=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=1d3c910caa16445a&biw=1177&bih=934&ix=sea&ion=1 [google.com]

Re:Hi. I don't see a reason for a clash. (3, Insightful)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026487)

Speaking as an atheist in the Bible Belt, I can tell you, anonymity is a goddamn blessing. Otherwise, I'd need a god given machine gun to defend myself against these Goddamn Jesus freaks who think they need to kill me for not believing in their Sky God. God Damn Motherfuckers!

Have you ever considered that the difficulty getting along with the more spiritually-inclined might have less to do with them prying into your affairs and more to do with how you can't even get through a post on a completely unrelated topic without a profanity-laden bashing of their religion?

Re:Hi. I don't see a reason for a clash. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026665)

Have you ever considered that the difficulty getting along with the more spiritually-inclined might have less to do with them prying into your affairs and more to do with how you can't even get through a post on a completely unrelated topic without a profanity-laden bashing of their religion?

Have YOU ever considered that in person that I'm a respectful of others beliefs and I listen to them witness and preach to me - without saying a word?

Have YOU considered that maybe living in cognito that that I've heard some ridiculous shit from people of "faith" or "spiritually inclined"?

Have YOU even considered that my online posts are nothing like I am in real life because I really need to blow of steam?

Have YOU considered that I am incredibly isolated because all of my neighbors believe in an adult version of Santa Claus? It's like being around children who in all seriousness are talking about how they are asking (praying) for toys (money, good health, people's souls, etc....)?

Have YOU considered that YOU are making some serious assumptions and complete irrational judgments about me because of one post (and this one of course)?

You see, in normal everyday life, I HAVE to listen to the nonsense of the spiritually inclined. Which leads me to another thing: YOU assume I'm not "spiritually inclined". Actually, I am - I just don't believe in all that super natural magical childish horseshit.

You'd think after 2,000 years,the human race would have gotten beyond believing in the magical super natural superstitious horseshit.

Believe it or not, you can be spiritual without having to believe in such non-sense as a Sky God.

Just being kind and following the Golden Rule that Confucius invented 3,000 years ago (which Jesus mistakenly got all the credit for) and be compassionate towards others - which I am NOT doing right now - which makes me a hypocrite.

I guess I could be a GREAT Christian after all!

Re:Hi. I don't see a reason for a clash. (2)

Dark$ide (732508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026555)

Speaking as an American, I want the European version of privacy and the American version of Free Speech.

Speaking as a European. I 100% agree with you.

please erase (5, Funny)

pinfall (2430412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025951)

Do not read this comment. I regret it already.

Re:please erase (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026737)

Random comments won't be covered. They are talking about personal information, i.e. your real name, photos of you, explicit statement of membership of certain groups (religions, political parties) and so forth.

This is not a right to censor stuff you wrote on any web site.

Wow. bullshit. (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025973)

right to be forgotten exists in offline-world, and it did not cause any free speech issues. something which is personal information, is not something that is related to free speech. your ideas expressed, public posts made, public statements, discussions may be considered free speech. but, photographs of your son and daughter, can not.

what im i saying. taking this shit seriously : the real issue is google, facebook and similar going deprived of 2% of their annual income. that's the whole point of this anxiety.

well. we, the people dont give two shits about google or facebook's 2% annual income. they can lose it, and still sit pretty.

and, this does not have any kind of effect on the 90-100% of the rest of the internet, where content is created by small people or businesses - they are not making money selling people's personal information to megacorporations anyway. (ads are not relevant - small sites cant run all encompassing tracking networks like facebook )

Re:Wow. bullshit. (2)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026091)

right to be forgotten exists in offline-world

I'm confused. If I want to, I can order other people, even total strangers, to rip up all of their pictures of me with some sort of legal threat if they don't comply? Even public photos where I'm in the background or something? Where does this law come from?

Re:Wow. bullshit. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026149)

you cannot do that to people, but you can do that to corporations. on internet, corporations are taking that for granted.

Re:Wow. bullshit. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026227)

you cannot do that to people, but you can do that to corporations

Haven't you heard? Corporations *are* people - at least here in the US - sigh.

Re:Wow. bullshit. (1)

sgent (874402) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026513)

You can????

No, you cannot order corporations to destroy records they create on transactions with you, pictures they take in a public place, etc.

Re:Wow. bullshit. (2)

Meeni (1815694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026783)

Yes, such a law exist in europe. You have a right to access files that corporations make on you and to amend them (amending for precisions, or deletion).

Re:Wow. bullshit. (3, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026481)

I'm confused

Yes, you are. Well spotted.

If I want to, I can order other people, even total strangers, to rip up all of their pictures of me with some sort of legal threat if they don't comply?

Depends who they are and what they are doing with the pictures. Someone with a private collection on their PC? No. A company that hosts said pictures in a searchable index on the web? Yes.

Even public photos where I'm in the background or something?

No, only where you are a primary part of the picture, except in very specific cases like if you were in a shower room or other place with an expectation of privacy.

Where does this law come from?

It isn't a law yet, but will most likely be either an EU directive or maybe worked into European Convention on Human Rights.

Re:Wow. bullshit. (2)

weiserfireman (917228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026101)

My only problem with this law is it does't apply to just content I create myself, but content other people created. If I take a picture and post it online and later want it removed, I should be able to get it done. Under US Law, I have a copyright interest in the photograph. If I decide I don't want it published, I currently have the DMCA to assist me in getting it taken down, but finding every reposted copy might be difficult.

The problem with the proposed European Regulations is that it can potentially apply to not only my copyrighted content, but the copyrighted content of other people that mentions or depicts me.

If someone post's some story about me, about a night I later regretted, I could demand that it be taken off line. I have violated the other person's right of free speech, because they said something about me, I would rather people not know.

If you don't think this would be abused, you are crazy. Celebrities, Politicians, and Crooks around the world are begging for the chance for you not to know about their misdeeds. If this passes, the only thing you will every be able to look up about people in Europe is positive flattering things. No hearing, no trial, no "but it's true" defense.

Re:Wow. bullshit. (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026271)

If I take a picture and post it online and later want it removed, I should be able to get it done. Under US Law, I have a copyright interest in the photograph.

You do, but as soon as you post it to Facebook (and any other service, really), you gave them have a worldwide, sub-licensable, royalty-free, non-revocable license to it.

So the DMCA doesn't really help you, since they're not violating your copyright.

Re:Wow. bullshit. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026779)

If someone post's some story about me, about a night I later regretted, I could demand that it be taken off line. I have violated the other person's right of free speech, because they said something about me, I would rather people not know.

That would not be covered by this law. If it is true then you can't stop others talking about it.

Having said that you could stop the press publishing the story. Unless they can show that the story is in the public interest then mere gossip is not acceptable. Unfortunately the definition of "in the public interest" is rather loose these days, but the principal is there. As a non-public figure and assuming you had done nothing illegal or harmful to society you would have a fairly good case.

And there is the problem. People talking had a very limited audience until the internet came along and made some random blog or Facebook post easily findable via search engines.

Re:Wow. bullshit. (1)

Jakeva (1429603) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026711)

Yeah right. Try getting the Mormon church to take your name off their records. They really don't like doing that, and they rarely if ever do. Even when they say they have, you're still on a secret list they keep for the same fucked up reasons they baptize the dead. If corporations in America are considered legal persons, religions in America have the status of a fucking deity.

Eraser to the Mind (3, Insightful)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 2 years ago | (#39025991)

You have a right to be forgotten; You do NOT have a right to make me forget!

Re:Eraser to the Mind (2)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026109)

But I should have the right in 10 years time, not to be searched for by some HR drone to find out what my opinion was 10 years ago. Me now won't be the same as me in 10 years time. Do you think the HR drone will differentiate?

Re:Eraser to the Mind (1)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026539)

May I suggest finding a job at a company that hires actual HR people instead of drones?

Re:Eraser to the Mind (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026633)

Probably. I got turned down for a customer service gig at an insurance company because I 'failed the background check'. They couldn't verify my high school GPA. Not surprising, I graduated 40 years ago.

Your own speech (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026023)

Free speech is not about re-posting pictures of someone else Free speech is about your blog entries and your own pictures. That law would not threaten that.

Re:Your own speech (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026495)

Free speech is not about re-posting pictures of someone else

Sure it is. If it doesn't cover that, imagine what police and politicians and corporate bad actors could get away with if their "right to be forgotten" is allowed to trump your free speech to tell people about what they did.

Public vs. private citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026131)

The law has made this distinction for a long time. For example, a tabloid can't report on the sex lives of random people not in the public eye, without getting consent. Privacy trumps free speech in such cases.

Rights and Responsibilities (4, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026211)

The right to be forgotten? What about the responsibility to keep one's own private information private?

I have no problem with regulating the dissemination of private information held in confidence by online services, but information published by users or by people not affiliated with the online services in question should not receive any such protection in all but a few special cases (medical and financial information, for example).

When privacy and free speech are in conflict and there's no urgent and compelling reason to keep information private, free speech should always trump privacy.

Erm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026239)

I really, really, really am trying to find some sympathy for the mega buck earning Google and Facebook corporations. Really. Not.

Let's not forget humanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026249)

Free speech and privacy should ALWAYS trump profit. There is and should be no exception to this. Modern sensibilities, which really are not sensible, have twisted the idea of the value of people, and have, instead, placed greater emphasis on that of corporations -- actually going so far as to declare them "persons". Really?

We have fallen too far from the tree of common sense. The world is becoming an "every man for himself" kind of world.

People make mistakes. Youth lacks wisdom, and while the two are not mutually exclusive, an eighteen-year-old man who lacks discretion and who isn't thinking about the future beyond this weekend's date with the hottie in his Literature survey course, will think nothing of posting potentially damaging photos of himself or of making ill-advised statements online -- that could potentially ruin his chances -- or hers -- down the road. Indiscretion, while basically being stupid on the whole, should be forgotten, as a persons' merit and worth is not ascribed from their lack of common sense, rather their contribution to society as a whole.

"Let anyone here who has not sinned cast the first stone."

How is this supposed to work? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026255)

I mean... let's say that you decide to tell facebook to "forget" you, but before you did, somebody who had perfectly lawful access to see your info copied some of it to his local computer... say it was pictures or whatever. After you were "forgotten", the person who copied your stuff uploads it back onto facebook. For argument's sake, let's suppose that the person who does this is outside of your country's jurisdiction. Who do you get to sue?

Re:How is this supposed to work? (3, Insightful)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026637)

Demand to have him extradited!

At least the US feels that as long as the 'wronged' party is in a jurdiction that they control, they have the right to have foreign citizens extradited. Just look at the case of the UK hacker Gary McKinnon. Let's just hope Europe will be just as determined to have those evil foreigners punished.

Jeffrey Rosen Doesn't Understand What "Hosting" Is (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026257)

Would someone please explain to that guy that private companies would be liable for the stuff that they host, as they should be, not for the stuff that they link to, which is hosted by someone else?

Re:Jeffrey Rosen Doesn't Understand What "Hosting" (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026667)

Possibly, that's the plan. After all, it could be Yet Another Nail Gun in the War Against Online 'Piracy' if sites were held responsible for their content. Somebody posts a link to a magnet file or a torrent file, you can nail them with enabling 'piracy' even though it's copyright infringement.

300 years and still battling (0)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026269)

i can't f'ing believe this crap .. is it ever going to end??
i have a worrisome feeling that mankind's inalienable rights, the ones the US founding fathers identified, will eventually be completely squished under a boot of tyranny. I mean every year there's a relentless assault on it. It's starting to feel like we're all huddled inside the Alamo. Except there's no Texian Army to avenge it.

Re:300 years and still battling (4, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026463)

mankind's inalienable rights, the ones the US founding fathers identified

This is precisely the problem that the rest of the world has with US and Americans.

Keeping the civilization in a obsolete age (2)

jcdr (178250) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026297)

It's a pathetic situation. Historians work hard trying to find evidences of past events because retaining information is so hard. Now we have a Internet able to retain virtually everything, making de facto the greatest source of information that ever existed, and those stupids guys are only trying to keep the whole civilization in a obsolete age. The governments must do exactly the opposite: founding Wikipedia and the like to keep the information over the age. There is no way in denying the existing facts, even if so many manipulators have gain profit in shadowing information to others. The only way forward is learning to live with all informations available in detail.

Re:Keeping the civilization in a obsolete age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026379)

The only way forward is learning to live with all informations available in detail.

Please repeat your credit card information in detail. Tnx.

Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026319)

Require facebook, google, et all to remove the copy you uploaded, upon request, and nothing more. All other copies belong to those who copied them.

wait a mimute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026327)

...an american said that?

Whatever it is, it is not a right. (4, Insightful)

jcrb (187104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026329)

So I followed the links down to the actual EU document, at which point the problem becomes clear. All the other issues aside, if it takes you 117 pages to explain a "basic right" then it seems to me that....

You're Not Doing It Right

Re:Whatever it is, it is not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026713)

Have you looked at any other EU laws and regulations?
This one is actually quite short.

Damn Anti-Darwin rights, fuck'em US and EU (3, Insightful)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026363)

Human foolishness has historical value for teaching values to the young, naive, and possibly stupid.

Invoking Anti-Darwin will protect the rich, politicians, popes, mullahs ..., but endanger the public from a lack of information that could save their lives from idiots being leaders. Yes, George Bush is the poster child for Anti-Darwin rights. Fight Anti-Darwin rights/laws and protect US and EU from drunken idiots in politics.

Becoming an adult (2)

KingofSpades (874684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026393)

Another unintended side effect is that it makes people believe that such a "right" exists.
It doesn't. The sooner people understand it, the better. This problem should be solved through education, not by forcing other people to forget, which can't be done.
Don't treat people like children, let them become adults.

i wanna move to europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026447)

why is europe so much better than america?

Re:i wanna move to europe (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026625)

Try Greece. I heard is cheap.

It ain't America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026459)

The "limits" or "restrictions" or "exceptions" of freedom of speech in a constitution purposefully stand in opposition to the phrase "make no law".

"Perfect Remembering" isn't necessarily good (3, Interesting)

Kaikopere (892344) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026585)

I was reading Delete by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger recently and he has a very simple solution... put expiration dates on all data. I don't know that it's a basic human right to be forgotten, but it's pretty harsh to have a picture of one act of foolishness follow you around for 20 years.

Interesting.. (5, Interesting)

crossmr (957846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026607)

I see The New Republic doesn't seem to have a single story about ACTA in their pages.. yet the europeans are out protesting it in droves...Europeans want to protect privacy and suddenly someone from America is all over them..
I also notice the Standford law review doesn't return a single article written about that either..

Clean up your own house before you go telling others how to run theirs.

Different from IRL how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026627)

If I don't want my ex to keep or post pictures of me to the internet, there is absolutely nothing I can do about (nor should there be!). It's the consequence of living and breathing in a society, or am I mistaken?

Fee (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39026663)

If those services charge a removal fee that covers removal cost plus a small profit margin (for commercial vendors), then it shouldn't matter to them. It's more revenue.

pandering and fear mongering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39026785)

I find it hard to disagree that such legislation threatens freedom of speech and information, but if one extends the logic... Really The whole matter is a reductio ad absurdum for DMCA take downs and similar legislation.

It was a nice bit of distraction though with the murderers and Argentinian pop-star. Oh ya, what were we talking about?

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