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The US vs. Europe: Freedom of Expression vs. Privacy

GoddersUK (1262110) writes | about 5 months ago

1

GoddersUK (1262110) writes "Rory Cellan-Jones writes about the recent European Court judgement on the right to be forgotten in terms of US/EU cultural differences (and perhaps a bit of bitterness on the EU side at US influence online):

He tells me... ..."In the past if you were in Germany you were never worried that some encyclopedia website based in the United States was going to name you as a murderer after you got out of jail because that was inconceivable. Today that can happen, so the cultural gap that was always there about the regulation of speech is becoming more visible."... ...Europeans who have been told that the internet is basically ungovernable — and if it does have guiding principles then they come from the land of the free — are expressing some satisfaction that court has refused to believe that.

(And, certainly, it seems, here in the UK, that even MEPs keen on the principle don't really know how this ruling will work in practice or what the wider consequences will be. Video here."

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The simple story (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 5 months ago | (#47042213)

The right to privacy is unimplementable. It basically requires hiding the truth on a massive individualized scale, and cannot be done.

If one were to attempt hiding one or a few particular truths, it might be successful for a short while, but it would be like the Soviets airbrushing former leaders out of pictures. The truth will resurface sooner or later.

And as soon as you mandate the right to be forgotten, every punk and his dog will want to protect their privacy too -- why should it be reserved only for the rich and powerful? Not only will the resultant holes in truth became ever more blatant, but the only way to hide the truth is manpower intensive, just like airbrushing people out of all those pictures. You can't automate it -- not only would it miss indirect references and intentional subterfuge, it will erase false positives and raise the ire of its false victims.

I am watching this EU court ruling with a metric boatload of popcorn. Most legislation is pretty clueless when it comes to unintended consequences, btu this one is spectacularly so.

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