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Privacy EU Google The Internet

Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten' 224

Posted by timothy
from the don't-call-me-a-spammer-that-was-a-long-time-ago dept.
The EU's new rule (the result of a court case published May 13) requiring that online businesses remove on request information that is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" has struck a chord with more than 12,000 individuals, a number that's rising fast. Other search engines, ISPs, and firms are sure to follow, but the most prominent reaction to the decision thus far, and one that will probably influence all the ones to come, is Google's implementation of an online form that users can submit to request that information related to them be deleted. The Daily Mail reports that the EU ruling "has already been criticised after early indications that around 12 per cent of applications were related to paedophilia. A further 30 per cent concern fraud and 20 per cent were about people's arrests or convictions"; we mentioned earlier this month one pedophile's request for anonymity. As the First Post story linked above puts it, the requirement that sites scrub their data on request puts nternet companies in the position of having to interpret the court’s broad criteria for information meeting the mandate's definition of "forgettable," "as well as developing criteria for distinguishing public figures from private individuals." Do you favor opt-out permissions for reporting facts linked to individuals? What data or opinions about themselves should people not be able to suppress? (Note: Google's form has this disclaimer: "We're working to finalize our implementation of removal requests under European data protection law as soon as possible. In the meantime, please fill out the form below and we will notify you when we start processing your request." That finalization may take some time, since there are 28 data-protection agencies across the EU to harmonize.)
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Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten'

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  • US (Score:5, Informative)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @09:46AM (#47135605)

    The UK and most of Europe is unlike the US in that once convicted criminals that have been punished, unless of a particularly serious crime, there are laws protecting their rights to not have that information disclosed, so that they can resume a normal job or whatever in society.

    With the US system of throwing more people into prison per capita than pretty much any other country, and also that in the US such things are permanently on your record, it can only make it much harder for ex-cons to ever find work again and resume a lawful life. The system is self-defeating in making it much more likely that ex-cons actually have no option but to turn back to crime to even make a living.

    The problem with Google is that they are clearly assuming that US law/mindset should operate worldwide. Google need to get over themselves and make sure their information retention follows the same rehabilitation law that exists already to protect the rights of ex-offenders, for a very good reason.

    IMHO we should have the right to control any and all information about us that is stored by corporations. We should also be able to force them to disclose all the info they do store about us. In fact the whole question of who owns that information should be determined. I beleive if the information is about you, then you should own it and so have full control of it.

  • Re:All I'll say... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrbester (200927) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @11:17AM (#47136059) Homepage

    We've got this thing in UK called Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This plainly states that when a conviction is deemed "spent" (depends on offence for the timescale, some offences never expire of course) then that it deemed to have never happened in the first place. This can even include being sent to prison. Any use of that information is prohibited and there is no upper limit for a fine that can be imposed for doing so. Plus, use of that information will get you sued for libel, which you will lose and lose badly.

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