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No "Right To Be Forgotten," Says EU Advocate General

timothy posted 1 year,27 days | from the they'll-remember-you-said-that dept.

EU 116

DW100 writes "A ruling this morning from the European Court of Justice has said that Google does not have to delete personal data from its search index, in a case that could have huge ramifications for web privacy and the so-called 'right to be forgotten.'" From the article: EU Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen "said Google and other search engines are not subject to privacy requirements under current European data protection law. 'Search engine service providers are not responsible, on the basis of the Data Protection Directive, for personal data appearing on web pages they process,' he said in his official ruling, published by the court. He went on to explain that based on current laws citizens do not have a right to be removed from search indexes within the framework of the Data Protection Directive. 'The Directive does not establish a general "right to be forgotten." Such a right cannot therefore be invoked against search engine service providers on the basis of the Directive,' he said."

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116 comments

Why does the cynic in me. . . (4, Interesting)

Salgak1 (20136) | 1 year,27 days | (#44099857)

. . . .immediately think, ". . . all the better to data-mine you by. . . ."

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (5, Insightful)

kthreadd (1558445) | 1 year,27 days | (#44099875)

If you don't want your data mined then you shouln't publish it in the first place.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | 1 year,27 days | (#44099905)

Yeah, and don't appear in any photos so people can't tag you on Facebook while you're at it. Most of your personal data out there was uploaded and maintained by someone else.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100003)

Right, just as people may actually _mention_ you in conversation in real life without you giving consent. You do not have control over others. The internet isn't a magical place where different rules apply. Being terrified of having your picture on the internet is just a new twist on agoraphobia.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100107)

This message has been logged and tagged for "Terrorist Activity" (tm).
Tell NSA your mom said hello.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100659)

The internet isn't a magical place where different rules apply.

Well... Yes. Yes, it is.

When someone mentions me in real life conversation, it's a private discussion, taking place between a small group of people, in a given place, at a given time, in isolation, and probably for their own personal reasons.

When someone mentions me on the Internet, it's a public discussion, taking place in front of the entire world, accessible from anywhere in the world, archived for all eternity in a searchable format also accessible to the entire world, potentially correlated with any other data about me that is out there, for any purpose.

Do you really not see that there are different implications and potential consequences to those two scenarios, and that maybe understanding and protection of privacy needs to evolve along with understanding and development of technology?

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (-1, Flamebait)

Bengie (1121981) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100817)

Information wants to be free. You may as well discuss how you plan on irradiating software piracy. If you don't like society, then leave. This is how people are, they share info, along with all of nature.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44102953)

You are right man.

  I met your neighbor last week, and he tolds me you owe him 1,000,000$ since you borrow it because you said you'll need it to prepare a robbery.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (0)

higuita (129722) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101677)

A private conversation creates a rumor about you that can be spread if its interesting (loose interpretation of the interest by each people).
After some time you might have your "private" reference known by many people, doesn't matter if true or not. That is why is important to trust people before giving then personal information. After a rumor run lose, its very hard to stop it.

Internet its the same thing. A reference in the net might be true or not, if its "interesting" enough, it will spread and be "stored". If you don't trust your contacts, don't give then personal information, and protest with then if they fail to protect your information.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44102125)

At least on the internet, information typically doesn't get twisted as easily as it does with a rumor. It's usually easier to trace information, and when it gets copied, it's rarely distorted. I'd say that has a certain advantage over old fashioned rumor.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | 1 year,27 days | (#44103395)

At least on the internet, information typically doesn't get twisted as easily as it does with a rumor. It's usually easier to trace information, and when it gets copied, it's rarely distorted. I'd say that has a certain advantage over old fashioned rumor.

THis is absolutely not true. On the internet, the only thing that is true, is what is repeated. As the story is repeated, linked, and given popularity, it becomes the 'true' story.

The primary method that online reputation management companies use is the constant, cross-linked, and widely available story which is repeated over and over until it 'crowds out' the information you want suppressed.

The actual veracity of the propagated story is irrelevant.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

thunderclap (972782) | 1 year,27 days | (#44103687)

I would love to give a high five to those how are modded this. On to the question. 'Do you really not see that there are different implications and potential consequences to those two scenarios, and that maybe understanding and protection of privacy needs to evolve along with understanding and development of technology?'
That request for understanding and protection of privacy is based on a fallacy The fallacy is you have a right to privacy on the internet. 'He went on to explain that based on current laws citizens do not have a right to be removed from search indexes within the framework of the Data Protection Directive. 'The Directive does not establish a general "right to be forgotten." 'The internet is a public park. You know this. We all do. When you log in and communicate you give by logging in the right to have things about you archived. You do not have the right to control how those things are used after you give them out until you a) are a politician b) a person who makes their living on their image or c) wealthy enough to crush others through litigation or monetary payoff.
So guess what the people who figured out how to monetize the internet want your information. You can give it to them or you can not participate at all. However, understanding won't change to what you want because it won't make people money. Privacy makes no one money and that is what this is all about. Making money and controlling info.
Like on WarGames: The only way to win is not to play.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (4, Informative)

bickerdyke (670000) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100089)

Both wrong.

You should make sure that you don't appear in a newspaper article. Even if there is something newsworthy.

The original lawsuit was about an old newspaperarticle about a some Chapter 11 stuff still turning up when you searched for a name.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101151)

did the guy want library archives to be burnt too?

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | 1 year,27 days | (#44104107)

Probably but he would only get lumped in with every left- and right-wing nutjob (extreme ends) wanting to burn everything they disagree with.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (2)

richardellisjr (584919) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100721)

I've been wondering if there is a way to break the face tag feature, was curious what everyone else things. Basically the system as I understand it works by users tagging you in photos they take. If that step isn't done facebook has no way to know your face. So what would happen if you seed it with conflicting information. For example find a picture of some random model (or alternatively another person with a dislike of being tagged) and have as many friends as possible tag the individual as you. Repeat this with several other faces and facebook should be adequately confused. Thoughts?

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101245)

what would be nifty is a setting

1 DO NOT ALLOW tagging
2 I confirm all tags (somebody tries to tag you you get a time limited message)
3 open tags (current action)

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101443)

Yes, you should control what other people get to do.
That's great.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (2)

Lithdren (605362) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101865)

That's like arguing someone is allowed to punch you in the face without repercussion because you cant tell that other person what to do.

When it comes to something that is directly related to self, you are perfectly able to tell someone else what to do. Yes, you can tag me in a photo, or no you cannot tag me in a photo.

Rights to one self take presidence over someone else. You have the right to speak, I have the right to not listen. You have the right to protest, I have the right to counter-protest. You have the right to bear arms, I have the right to not allow your weapons in my store/on my property. See how this works? In general, problems arise because people cant seem to figure this very simple concept out.

Now, being this is on facebook, technically speaking its their rights, not yours, or the person you're tagging, but I think you can still make a fair argument that someone sould be able to opt-out of getting tagged in photos. Cant really prevent someoen from them posting "check out this picture of me and X, Y and Z!" however, so the same problem will still exist, just not as easy to find (yet...)

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | 1 year,27 days | (#44102201)

so those photos of you in the lilac leotard and tutu we got the last time you were drunk are good to post??

i will give it 5 years at most before folks will be able to make near undetectable forges of photos.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,27 days | (#44103273)

i will give it 5 years at most before folks will be able to make near undetectable forges of photos.

Too late. The future is already here [psdisasters.com] .

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44101805)

Yes.
If you don't want to appear online either make sure your friends know about it, or make sure there is nothing for others to post online.
If you have some issue with someone posting something, then go after them instead of google.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

Hentes (2461350) | 1 year,27 days | (#44103343)

This is not America. You can't just publish a photo of someone without their consent.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

thunderclap (972782) | 1 year,27 days | (#44103779)

Do you really want me to spam this with the list of websites that post photos of candids? From creepshots.com to revenge porn through the paps who make money you very much can publish a photo of someone without their consent. They are in a public place (not a gym, bathroom, federal facility excluding airports) they can't come after you. I can't count the amount of times enquirer and star have won against celebs who didn't want pictures taken in public.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100479)

Does not just affect what you publish. They save a history of every porn site you visit.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | 1 year,27 days | (#44103143)

If you don't want your data mined then you shouln't publish it in the first place.

That's all well and good. I don't publish that information. Many times it is the government that is publishing my information. Information which was previously available only by physically going to the records office and pulling up a specific record.

Then, companies pull the data from those databases and create 'placeholder' websites in my name. I'm sure you have seen these sites if you ever googled your name. For my RL name, the first few links are relevant, a NY times article, a wedding announcement, and links to real social sites which I have registered accounts (Facebook, Linkedin, etc).

Then come literally thousands of sites which have scraped data on me from obituaries, home sale records, other people's unsecured social media postings. These sites have compiled this information into pseudo websites which look as if I have entered all the information there. All it takes is a few clueless relatives/friends to create accounts on those sites and fill in the blanks.

I've not posted anything to facebook in 10-12 months. My Linked in Profile is little more than my name, and my friends know not to take/post pictures of me.

Little help NOT posting information to the web does.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,27 days | (#44103361)

Then come literally thousands of sites which have scraped data on me from obituaries, home sale records, other people's unsecured social media postings.

Emphasis mine.

You might have something really important going on here. Care to tell us about it?

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | 1 year,27 days | (#44103545)

scraped data on me from obituaries

Emphasis mine.

You might have something really important going on here. Care to tell us about it?

A search of my name will turn up the obituary for my wife's grandmother which lists me as a surviving relative.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | 1 year,27 days | (#44104011)

If we learned nothing else from "The Highlander" TV series, it's that every 10-12 years, immortals need to appear to "die" so they can start over elsewhere and not be questioned about their appearing to never age...

Re: Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44099983)

google only tracks "meta data". you have nothing to worry about.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100047)

nah, it's more reality. The whole "Right to be forgotten" in the EU was basically believing in a magical world that doesn't exist. If you de-list something, is it gone? Of course not. Should you be able to sue the daylights out of someone who dares host something about you, that you don't like? absolutely not.

So while their approach is terrible (and implies basically that they're collecting data about you and won't let you ask that to be removed), the whole "right to be forgotten" is all but willingly pulling wool over your own eyes.

frigging retard 'merkins... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100173)

Look, we KNOW that you're got a hard-on for slagging off the EU because your country is a has-been and is falling apart visibly day by day, but can you at LEAST read what the fuck you're posting to? Or is your right to plaster your fucking "free speech" all over the internet so mandatory that you can't (and should not) wait until you've informed yourself before you have an opinion and spout it out to the world???

The EU ruling was signed up to allow you to force people keeping data that is personal (under the remit of what counts as such for the Data Protection Act) to be removed. Some retard thought they could make believe this was a "magigal world" where you can tell everyone to delete information that ISN'T private information (per DPA) but the same lawmakers who helped craft it told him "It isn't a magical world.".

Then YOU come along and go all "oh, it wasn't a 'magical world' like they thought, therefore I should be ALLOWED to keep private information because companies want it and they are better than you people!!!".

Re:frigging retard 'merkins... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100557)

lol lazy obvious troll is obvious.

if any country, including 'merika fucks up? they should be called out for it. that also includes the EU as well. it's not exclusive.

try harder.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100325)

This isn't the Right to be Forgotten. The submitter is confused. The right to be forgotten only lets you delete your own account, not other people's.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100523)

Europe has it all backwards. And it's made obvious by statements like this:

He went on to explain that based on current laws citizens do not have a right to be removed from search indexes

Rights are not based on current law. They exist independently of law (or not at all, that's a valid argument too), and current law either respects or violates that right. If someone were to say "based on current law citizens do not have the right to choose their own religion", it would be abundantly clear that "current law" is oppressive.

Either the right to be forgotten exists or it does not. I'd suggest it does not, because it clearly conflicts with my own right to remember, and communicate.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101603)

The right to be forgotten only applies to commercial companies that keep data you gave them. Personal details, website accounts, photos you upload, that sort of thing. The right hasn't come in yet, but when it does we will be able to demand that data is deleted and the company must comply.

If you write a blog post about someone you have nothing to worry about, they can't get it taken down with this right.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

poetmatt (793785) | 1 year,27 days | (#44102361)

the problem is, demanding that data is deleted means *nothing*. Absolutely nothing. It could still be backed up (you can't exactly verify), or it could have been hosted somewhere. So they deleted the "public copy". And? Or the original of said photo, since it had to come from somewhere, still exists. that's not a right to forget. It's an attempt to imply you can demand something which you cannot enforce. That's not to say that companies shouldn't respect your privacy and/or a right for it, but that this is absolutely the wrong if not completely dishonest way of implying that this takes care of that.

Demands mean nothing if they aren't enforceable - in this case, they easily aren't.
 

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44103717)

Your argument equally applies to why we can't stop companies from doing anything. "But they might do it anyway and how would we know?"

They're dumping radioactive waste into the ground water? Can't ban it, they might do it anyway. They murder their own employees? Can't ban it, they might do it anyway.

The EU _already_ has rules requiring that companies fix any erroneous data they have about you on request. Doubtless you'll argue that those rules shouldn't exist, because they can't be enforced in your imaginary "everything illegal becomes somehow impossible" video game version of the world. Still, they do have those rules and companies get into shit when they can't (because their technology is shit or their business processes don't work) or won't (because they're entitled douchebags, often from the US) conform.

Re:Why does the cynic in me. . . (1)

poetmatt (793785) | 1 year,27 days | (#44103959)

Erm, no.

It's not that there's no ways to verify this (there are plenty), it's just that they've picked all the wrong ones. That doesn't excuse the behavior, either.

That's my point. Not "people can do what they want free world wharrgarbl republican blah blah". But "this is absolutely the wrong approach and completely contrary to any even remote concept of best practices within use of a technology".

A rare outburst of common sense from the EU (4, Interesting)

maroberts (15852) | 1 year,27 days | (#44099861)

Now if only they'd stop messing too much with Google (apart from tax issues) and rescind the need for stupid "We're using cookies" splash screens then we'd all be happy Europhiles.

Re: A rare outburst of common sense from the EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44099953)

you are not worried about google tracking you, but are worried about cookies? please explain?

Re: A rare outburst of common sense from the EU (2)

Charles Duffy (2856687) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100019)

you are not worried about google tracking you, but are worried about cookies? please explain?

The parent didn't indicate concern about cookies; the parent indicated concern about notice requirements for sites using cookies.

Re:A rare outburst of common sense from the EU (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100191)

It's actually not that rare. Very frequently decisions and how they are communicated by the news and perceived by citizens are mismatched. Most recent examples: communal water, oil cans. That's why I always go back to the official released documents to look what they were actually saying. The EU has a communication problems with its base.

Re:A rare outburst of common sense from the EU (1)

theM_xl (760570) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100577)

No. I'm pretty sure being a happy Europhile would require quite a few more things. Just minor ones, really, like stopping the complete waste of money that is the monthly transfer to Strassbourg, the rampant corruption, the GENERAL waste of money, curbing their drive to make large numbers of rules on just about any subject... Maybe even toning down on shouting how good a job they're doing while everyone can see the results of said job, and not liking those results at all.

Though it might be that easy to be a happy europhile if you don't have to, you know, LIVE there.

Re:A rare outburst of common sense from the EU (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101497)

I like the cookies warning. It has raised a lot of awareness among non-techies.

You want your data deleted? forget about it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44099867)

customer : Hello, i'd like my data to be deleted from your search engine...
Google : foggetaboutit!
Where google is becoming more capone by the day....

Re:You want your data deleted? forget about it.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100181)

it isn't your data. it is just about you. you can have google delist all of YOUR data, which on the internet is defined as data you host.

Re:You want your data deleted? forget about it.... (4, Informative)

mindwhip (894744) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100487)

True, which is why this case isn't about "Right to be forgotten" which is related to the closure of your personal online accounts and not any data published and subsequently indexed by a third party.

The obligation that Google, news sites etc. does have however under various EU data protection laws is that any information that they hold about you must be accurate and corrected if found not to be. Also they can not to publish information that could be otherwise considered private and not in public knowledge. Generally (with some exceptions) they also have to provide you with any personal information they hold about you as an individual, and can charge a reasonable fee for providing such information.

Unfortunately for the individual involved the information published and indexed is correct and is publicly available due to court proceedings and being published in a newspaper etc. so they have no obligation to remove it or change it in any way.

Re:You want your data deleted? forget about it.... (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100805)

it isn't your data. it is just about you.

That attitude is why we had to invent data protection laws in the first place.

And defamation laws.

And model releases for photographers.

And press complaints regulations.

And a whole bunch of other stuff, because it turns out that being able to collect arbitrary data about an individual and use it for arbitrary purposes can be very damaging to that individual in particular and ultimately to civil society as a general trend, and it turns out that there are enough people in the world who would abuse that kind of data to the harm of others that we need to punish those who do as a deterrent.

Re:You want your data deleted? forget about it.... (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | 1 year,27 days | (#44103879)

Can investigative journalists be sued for surreptitiously recording you doing something and then making a report about it without your pemission?

Can Church of Scientology sue you for discussing their teachings without their permission?

Can you be banned from taking of photo of, say, Times Square because you don't have the premission of all the people who happened to be walking by in the background?

This is not the Right to be Forgotten (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,27 days | (#44099949)

This is not the right to be forgotten, it is something completely different. The right to be forgotten means that you can ask Google to delete data you gave to it yourself, e.g. your Gmail account a G+ profile. It does not have anything to do with removing search results.

Re:This is not the Right to be Forgotten (3, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100037)

In practice, lawsuits are filed when the data is displayed that causes loss of reputation. Thus the "Right to be Forgotten" is mainly going to be used in court to censor websites and search results.

Re:This is not the Right to be Forgotten (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101051)

This is like saying that the right to privacy will be used in court to force roads to be painted orange. It makes no sense at all, the right to be forgotten does not offer the ability to censor random web sites or search results.

Re:This is not the Right to be Forgotten (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100045)

This is not the right to be forgotten, it is something completely different. The right to be forgotten means that you can ask Google to delete data you gave to it yourself, e.g. your Gmail account a G+ profile. It does not have anything to do with removing search results.

What's the difference... to Google?

Re:This is not the Right to be Forgotten (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100193)

It's the same difference asit is between wanting it to be a magical world where you can tell everyone to forget you exist and a real one where your privacy is more important than some spamming company.

If the data were private, Google would have to delete it.

A notice of bankrupcy isn't private. It's public information.

Re:This is not the Right to be Forgotten (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100139)

No. The right to be forgotten means that if there is a police record because you ran a red light when you were 19 (think Bill Gates) should not keep you from ever getting a job again, even if you're 45, well educated, grown up and responsible. Just because some old stuff (newspaper article, whatever) is NOT old and forgotten but turns up among the Top10 results when a HR manager googles your name during a job interview.

We need either the right to be forgotten or a way to teach HR drones that people might change over the years.

Re:This is not the Right to be Forgotten (2)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100225)

I promise you this: neither one will work; get used to it. Even if you could force Google to delist you, the background check agencies mirror the data to save expunged data and they will still run your credit report and other shit. Teaching the fools in HR? Might as well replace them with a bunch of fucking monkeys you trained to use sign language. They're a bunch of disgusting leaches who thrive on busy work and drown themselves in bureaucracy to avoid killing themselves when confronted with something that requires actual thought; they will never admit that they are wrong about anything nor will they accept that people are more than replaceable cogs that live only to serve The Company.

Re:This is not the Right to be Forgotten (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100337)

Right.

But I'd put those extensive background-checkers into the same bag with the Googleing HR-monkeys.

Both seem to have difficulties discerning between past, present and future.

Re:This is not the Right to be Forgotten (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | 1 year,27 days | (#44102413)

But I'd put those extensive background-checkers into the same bag with the Googleing HR-monkeys.

I would then suggest tying that bag closed attaching a few bricks to it and dropping it off a bridge into a cold river.

Re:This is not the Right to be Forgotten (2, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101547)

No, that's absolutely not what it means. The right to be forgotten only applies to data you created yourself, not what other people wrote about you.

The submitter of this article is confused and now so are you. The issue here has nothing to do with the right to be forgotten. In this case German law says that convictions should not be mentioned in the press once they are "spent", which most of the time means you did your time or paid your fine. Of course anyone could go to the library and scan back through old editions of newspapers on microfiche, but it was considered too much of a hassle to be an issue.

Google now makes finding old newspaper articles extremely easy, and even offers snippets of them or suggestions based on their content. That was the issue here, nothing to do with the right to be forgotten.

Re:This is not the Right to be Forgotten (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100237)

Correct. This is correctly called "the right to be left alone".

The most common citation in US law is Justice Brandeis' dissenting opinion in Olmstead v US [wikipedia.org] , which, amusingly, is another case of wiretapping the court heard way back in 1914.

Explanaition (5, Informative)

André Rebentisch (2962925) | 1 year,27 days | (#44099951)

The opinion of the Advocate General is a preliminary document, a recommendationn, not a ruling of the Court. A recommendation to the European Court that is often followed by the Court. Legal grounds is the current EU directive, a directive that is implemented in national laws and provides a level of minimum harmonisation across EU member states. There may be other legal grounds. Currently the entire EU data protection legislative framework is under reform.

Last option (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44099967)

I would bet money that eventually Google's servers will be attacked by someone who wants to wipe themselves off of the servers.
Maybe the Russian mafia or the Chinese will offer a service to do just that for a price.

Re:Last option (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100025)

I would bet money that eventually Google's servers will be attacked by someone who wants to wipe themselves off of the servers.
Maybe the Russian mafia or the Chinese will offer a service to do just that for a price.

There are already such extortion services. They publish a mugshot of your arrest 20 years ago (you know, the class Z misdemeanor that you were acquitted of anyway) and offer to remove it for a price.

Re:Last option (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100147)

No way to wait for them. Just search for "reputation management"

Right To Remember (5, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | 1 year,27 days | (#44099977)

We all have the right to remember things and discuss them. A "Right to be Forgotten" is an attack on the peoples freedom of thought. It is censorship used by the rich and powerful to hide their crimes. It is an attempt to avoid public shaming.

Re:Right To Remember (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100041)

The right to be forgotten doesn't mean what you think it means.

It won't allow you to have material about you removed from random web sites. All it does it allow you to delete your own account and data, and that is must really be deleted and not just marked as dormant like Facebook does.

Re:Right To Remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100117)

I'm not sure where you got that from, but it's certainly not this article.

"Search engine service providers are not responsible, on the basis of the Data Protection Directive, for personal data appearing on web pages they process,"

And more specifically

“Therefore, national data protection regulators can't order a search link to be disabled within a search engine's index, provided that the search engine didn't wrongly spider a website in the first place contrary to any no-robots coding.”

Re:Right To Remember (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100177)

This article isn't about the Right to be Forgotten, the headline is misleading. Whoever wrote it clearly made the same mistake as the OP.

Re:Right To Remember (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100065)

This. I have a right to remember things you voluntarily and unasked told the entire planet.

Re:Right To Remember (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100363)

But does that include your right to remember what OTHER people wrongly told the entire planet about me and hold it against me?

Re:Right To Remember (1)

jabuzz (182671) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100473)

No but the data protection directive requires all personal data to be up to date and accurate. If the information is wrong then you would have recourse under the data protection directive to require data holders to correct wrong information.

Re:Right To Remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100149)

the issue is over your name coming up in a search engine, there have been stories posted on /. over how peoples names have been associated with being a IE, pedophile, when that person is in fact not. Or begin associated with anything a company looking to hire you will use as a red flag, even tho you didn't do anything that would prevent you from being hired.

I believe that is the bases for this.. You should have the right to have you information forgotten or deleted "AT YOUR REQUEST"

Re:Right To Remember (1)

jabuzz (182671) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100493)

Data protection directive already covers this, because that would be the holding of inaccurate personal information, so they would have to correct it so it was accurate, which might in effect mean deleting it. What I don't have is a right to get Google to delete all information or random but accurate information about me.

Re:Right To Remember (2, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101203)

What I don't have is a right to get Google to delete all information or random but accurate information about me.

It's a fine line actually.

If you tell Google to delete your Google account, then the Right To be Forgotten says that Google must delete all information contained in your account - your GMail emails, your G+ profiles, updates, friends, and any data Google may have collected about you.

HOWEVER, it does NOT mean Google must remove you from the index - since the index is created by trawling through other websites. Your information revealed through other websites is NOT Google's problem.

Right now, when you delete an account, who knows what happens to that data. RTBF simply means that information should be deleted. It does not mean that incidentally acquired information unlinked to the account should be deleted as well.

Consider a library. RTBF means if you turn in your library card, they get rid of all information about you in the system - including what books you borrowed (the book information would change your name to "No longer a patron"). However, it does NOT say the librarian has to erase you from their memory, or that any books, newspapers, etc., that mention you have to eliminated either.

Slashdot heretic here (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100007)

The ruling is entirely reasonable (at least to the extent that I understand the European law). The answer is to amend the law so that it does include the right to be forgotten, except for non-trivial things (e.g. a paper that you've published, or news articles, especially about public figures). We need such a law in the US too, but I don't see how the Constitution requires it (which doesn't mean you can't have a law, especially in light of the 9th Amendment).

A search engine is also the last party that should be responsible for this. It's utterly unreasonable to ask them to judge whether such a requirement is applicable to every page they index. The "publisher" of the page is the one that should be responsible.

Makes Sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100015)

How else will people find the sites that have not forgotten ?

Cease and Desist (3, Interesting)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100133)

What if you send Google a Cease-and-Desist letter? You won't be the only one who does this, and you would have more right to do so than others [torrentfreak.com] .

Pick your fights EU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100145)

FFS, you have the UK cooperating with a foreign power on a massive surveillance operation against UK and Europe. Pick your battles here. The basic right to privacy is in tatters, the basic right to due process is in tatters, we can't even have a democracy because USA leaks smears against politicians it wants out of power (mostly French it seems).

Get a f**ing grip, and pick the battles worth fighting. You can't extend the right to privacy, when the UK and USA have just driven a secret truck, right through the middle of it!

Google is the Wrong Target (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100189)

Google is just an aggregate. Google didn't publish those things. People who find falsehoods published about them should go after the content creator and hosts.

Re:Google is the Wrong Target (2)

mindwhip (894744) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100583)

There is no target.

The published data was both factually correct and public knowledge due to court filings so there can be no expectation of privacy.

All the individual managed to do with this case is to make it even more widely known and at any interview will now also be the guy who tried to get unpleasant information himself removed from Google and failed.

Aggregators (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44101187)

Google is just an aggregate. Google didn't publish those things.

So is a guy who collects child porn off the Internet and redistributes it, and points others to it, but doesn't create any himself. Does that make it ok? Think hard before you answer: society has pretty much already nailed this down. It means the aggregator is not an innocent party.

Disagree fundamentally (2, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100213)

I suspect that in this I will be contrary to most of the /. audience, but I don't believe that there IS an inherent "right to be forgotten".

Not at ALL.

In fact, I'd go so far as to point to the anonymizing of people as one of the more pernicious aspects of modern society (both as subject and as direct-object).

What we do, what we say, and the ripples of these actions are fundamentally WHO WE ARE. For better or worse, they are inescapably tied to us.

As much as we'd like to deny some things, or be allowed to (re)define ourselves, our actions speak more clearly to our essential character and personality than anything we can say, or rationalize, or even remember (since our memories are going to be biased in any case). Everyone makes mistakes, fools try to run from them. The facts of our mistakes are likewise part of us.

The idea that people have a "right" to erase this, to say "I am as I am today, not as I was yesterday" isn't subtle and isn't profound: it's denial.

Oh I think I "get it" - the assertion behind the 'right to be forgotten' is one of anonymity. In an era where the power of the individual seems to have vanished in the face of the might of collective entities like governments and corporations, the perception is that one can dodge aside by being anonymous. That too is silly in an era where passive observation is growing more comprehensive and data retention is nearly eternal.

Re:Disagree fundamentally (1)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100469)

In fact, I'd go so far as to point to the anonymizing of people as one of the more pernicious aspects of modern society (both as subject and as direct-object).

Far more harm is done by people who proudly sign their name and get rewarded for it than is done by anyone anonymous.

Re:Disagree fundamentally (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100555)

You are the one in denial that what I did and what I said and which I now know to have been wrong are not, in fact, a part of who I am, let alone a fundamental part. I don't have a problem with them being remembered during the time in which they are relevant, ie. while the ripples of these actions are in effect. I don't run from my mistakes.

The problem with the Internet is that it remembers things and will happily display them as though they were current even though they have ceased to be relevant many, many years ago. If those were memories on a human they would be long gone by now... It is a functional problem. I think there is a reason the human brain did not evolve to always remember everything. Things which are not in any way relevant to any ongoing matter should be forgotten.

Just another cycle (1)

Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100293)

Just as the concentration of computer processing power cycles between the client and the server (could/network) so to does the length of time that consequences of your actions stay with you.

This is despite most developed countries having a concept along the lines of the UK's "rehabilitation of offenders" - the right to put your wrongs behind you and start again. We have now entered a cycle where that is not possible, because your wrongs are documented forever on the Internet.

And that will continue, until such time as we can travel faster than information.

 

Re:Just another cycle (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100959)

Either that or start executing people again.

This makes sense (1)

jalopezp (2622345) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100321)

It is such a huge undertaking to remove anything from the internet that it doesn't make sense to have a right to be forgotten. How can you expect a search engine to filter its results from anything anyone ever hoped to remove from the web while still accurately indexing it? On top of that, even if you managed to get Google, or Bing, or whatever to stop indexing any page with personal information, what keeps them from being remembered? You cannot tell google to search imgur for pictures of cats, or airplanes, or naked girls, but there are other sites that index them. You cannot ask google to find you a free episode of The Sopranos and it won't, but there are other sites that index them; when these are taken down no-one has any difficult finding a replacement. It is simply impossible, technically impossible to be forgotten if there is someone out there that wants to keep the information.

I'm copyrighting everything about me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100375)

By copyrighting everthing about me, I've solved this problem, because surely they're required to such material on request?

Everyone's hypocritical (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100427)

So when they rule that hosting magnet links is the same as hosting the content, we boo and throw tomatoes.

Then they turn around and say that indexing content on other sites is not the same as hosting that content, and... we boo and throw tomatoes.

What's that saying about pots and kettles?

Hmm (1)

lightknight (213164) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100465)

"In the database, part of the database...in the database, part of the database!"

Use Google to delete your data (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | 1 year,27 days | (#44100503)

Use Google to find web sites hosting data about you. Contact them to delete it. Now it won't show up in Google or ANY OTHER search engine.

Re:Use Google to delete your data (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44101195)

Everything that goes in to Google, most likely stays withing Google. Deleted data likely remains for historical compasirons reasons. And for tracking picking what ad-spam to annoy you with next.

I suggest obfuscate your presence online with lots and lots of misinformation about you.

Didn't say wrote was no right to be forgotten (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44100683)

What he wrote that you could not exert the data protection act provision as the search engine level. If you want to be forgotten (as is your right) you have to request removal at the web site level. And then the indexes will forget about you

So : Google search - PASS
              Facebook - FAIL

Search engines dig up OLD data (2)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101323)

The specific example cited was that of a guy who long ago was repossessed as a result of defaulting on his mortgage. Given that a public notice will have been issued on this, there is data about him 'in the public domain'. In the old days, when search engines didn't exist, that sort of data would have remained invisible to almost all people. These days it's suddenly become visible because of new technology. The same applies to ancient criminal convictions or other moments of fame generally forgotten. In this context, the debate is far more interesting: is my 15 minutes of fame to be available for the rest of time, or should access to it be limited. If it is as a result of an article in a newspaper, then should the newspaper be required to remove certain articles? Or should the search engines be stoppable? Or should we accept that something new has emerged? The need to forget past mistakes is recognised in the English criminal law by banning the identities of people under 18 from being published if they come before the criminal courts. This is an attempt to allow juvenile offenders to escape a permanent black mark against their name.

Vote them out (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | 1 year,27 days | (#44101539)

Vote them out put the bastards out of business

link and robots.txt comment (1)

fritsd (924429) | 1 year,27 days | (#44102261)

Here's the link: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=138782&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=324003 [europa.eu]

I think that paragraph D.41 is important to remember:

41. Source web pages are kept on host servers connected to internet. The publisher of source web pages can make use of ‘exclusion codes’ (27) for the operation of the internet search engines. Exclusion codes advise search engines not to index or to store a source web page or to display it within the search results. (28) Their use indicates that the publisher does not want certain information on the source web page to be retrieved for dissemination through search engines.

And footnote 27 about those "exclusion codes" says:

27 – A typical current exclusion code (or robot exclusion protocol) is called ‘robots.txt’; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robots.txt [wikipedia.org] or http://www.robotstxt.org/ [robotstxt.org] .

Now I know that almost all Slashdotters already know about this, but if this passes then it means that (in the EU) it is written in law that a search engine spider isn't allowed to use stuff that you kept out with your robots.txt file.

almost 2 hours before (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44102833)

http://slashdot.org/submission/2752583/do-we-have-the-right-to-be-forgotten

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