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Facebook Says EU 'Right To Be Forgotten' Would Harm Privacy 277

Posted by timothy
from the want-to-subscribe-to-your-newsletter dept.
judgecorp writes "The European Commission has proposed a "right to be forgotten" online, which would allow users to remove personal data they had shared. The idea has had a lot of criticism, and now Facebook claims it would actually harm privacy. Facebook says the proposal would require social media sites to perform extra tracking to remove data which has been copied to other sites — but privacy advocates say Facebook has misunderstood what the proposal is all about."
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Facebook Says EU 'Right To Be Forgotten' Would Harm Privacy

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  • Misunderstood? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:38PM (#42206211) Homepage Journal

    privacy advocates say Facebook has misunderstood what the proposal is all about."

    Misunderstood, my ass. Never attribute to stupidity that which can be explained by greedy self-interest.

  • Re:Misunderstood? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:45PM (#42206267) Homepage

    Misunderstood, my ass. Never attribute to stupidity that which can be explained by greedy self-interest.

    Yeah, I'd have to say this is a willful 'misunderstanding'.

    Facebook's commodity is your data. That's how they make money. They don't want to be told that they would be required to delete your data upon request.

    Any time you see Facebook saying "Privacy laws would harm privacy", the real thing they're saying is "but that would cut into profits".

  • Re:Misunderstood? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:47PM (#42206299) Homepage Journal

    "'Facebook misunderstood" is "Facebook obfuscated".

  • Problem solved (Score:5, Insightful)

    by golden age villain (1607173) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:57PM (#42206437)

    Facebook says the proposal would require social media sites to perform extra tracking to remove data which has been copied to other sites

    Maybe they can start by not copying user data to other sites.

  • by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:01PM (#42206485) Homepage

    To grant one person the right to be forgotten is to deprive another of the right to remember. The sharing of information once legitimately published cannot become illegitimate just because the person involved doesn't want it to be known. The "right" to be forgotten is a form of censorship and has nothing at all to do with privacy.

  • by Millennium (2451) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:03PM (#42206525) Homepage

    This. A "right to be forgotten" implies silencing those who do not want a person's actions forgotten, and this must not be allowed.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:05PM (#42206543) Journal

    Thank you. This is the only sensible position I've seen on this subject. If you're concerned about what Facebook will do with information concerning you (note: not "your" information), then don't give it to them.

  • by Desler (1608317) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:09PM (#42206603)

    But what if you never gave it to them?

  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmMENCKENail.com minus author> on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:17PM (#42206717)

    This is the only sensible position I've seen on this subject. If you're concerned about what Facebook will do with information concerning you (note: not "your" information), then don't give it to them.

    I respectfully disagree. The information is mine (posts are copyrighted, surely?) and there should be some degree of control over that information. By that logic --
    "if you are concerned with what Google may do with your emails, don't open a Gmail account".
    "If you are concerned with what a physician may do with your medical history, don't go to a doctor"
    "If you are concerned with what bank may do with your money, do not give bank any of your money"

    Also, I am concerned about what other users give to facebook about me. Sometimes simply creating the account is enough to give away a crapload of information. I never understood people who have the time to go through and mark things like "I know this person because I worked with them at X" on Facebook. They are literally working for Facebook with no benefit to them.

  • It could be true. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pclminion (145572) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:17PM (#42206719)

    Actually, it isn't far-fetched to assume that lawmakers will do something idiotic that causes a bunch of consequences they didn't intend. While I can easily see Facebook trying to language-lawyer this shit to their advantage, I'd give it 50/50 chance the law actually does imply the goofy stuff Facebook says it does.

    I believe that laws should always be enforced in full and to the letter, along with all unintended consequences. This way, broken laws can be quickly identified and fixed (or repealed). It also would prevent prosecutors from selectively enforcing obscure provisions of the law to target specific individuals.

    When judges and juries start making exceptions for cases that are "obviously not what was meant" we just encourage more sloppy law-making.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:41PM (#42207077)

    War is Peace
    Freedom is Slavery

    As we approach the 30th anniversary I propose we add these to the list:

    Sharing is Stealing
    Privacy is Terrorism

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @06:10PM (#42209351)

    The idiots who use Facebook deserve to be tracked.

    And what of those who don't use Facebook, but for whom Facebook has created shadow accounts?

    Do they deserve to be tracked too?

  • Re:Misunderstood? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @06:32PM (#42209665) Homepage Journal

    Thing is, if I have some data X and I delete it, somewhere there has to be a record that says "hognoxious deleted X", which contains X.

    Otherwise, you can't prove that anyone is illegally holding a copy of X.

  • Re:Misunderstood? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @07:46PM (#42210411)

    Dear Facebook,

    Thank you for your response to our legal position.

    As you have not complied, your assets across the EU have been frozen, and any executive who sets foot in any EU nation is subject to arrest and criminal prosecution.

    Love and hugs,
    The guys who actually still make the laws over here

    I think when the EU starts fining them substantial amounts and/or issuing arrest warrants, Facebook will notice. Contrary to common belief on US-centric forums like Slashdot, the EU does actually have teeth when it comes to US tech firms taking liberties, and has been known to bite.

    In case anyone thinks this is just hyperbole, consider that the EU (both citizenry and government) is getting very fed up with the US (both corporations and government) thinking that it can dictate how everyone else's legal systems and business regulations should work. Anything that screws Facebook while strengthening the EU data protection/privacy position and generating income for the EU via fines is basically a political/economic win/win proposition for the people who are going to be driving the process. Pretty much the only potential downside is losing favour with the US government with consequences elsewhere, but right now the US government is pretty unpopular with everyone so that probably doesn't matter much.

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