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EU Google Privacy

Google Starts Removing Search Results After EU Ruling 138

Posted by samzenpus
from the forget-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes Google has begun removing some search results to comply with a European Union ruling upholding citizens' right to have objectionable personal information about them hidden in search engines. "Google engineers overnight updated the company's technical infrastructure to begin implementing the removals, and Thursday began sending the first emails to individuals informing them that links they had requested were being taken down. The company has hired a dedicated 'removals team' to evaluate each request, though only a small number of the initial wave of takedown requests has so far been processed."
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Google Starts Removing Search Results After EU Ruling

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  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:33AM (#47331153)

    Data protection in the private sphere is one of the few areas where the EU has its shit together.

    It is easy for any determined person to use the Internet to destroy the average person's reputation - the only anecdotes are a lot of money or to hide yourself completely from the world so nobody's judgment is relevant.

  • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:36AM (#47331159)
    True, but a lot of the requests come from politicians with dodgy pasts and paedophiles. I expect Muslims to get in on the act soon as well (I'm sure they'll say "it's not relevant that I called for the subjugation of non-muslims and women now I'm running for Bradford council"!).
  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:44AM (#47331183)

    The requests from nasty people will be publicised because that is the most effective way to give the appearance that these laws are harmful, even though the majority of people have a legitimate, reasonable right to have their private lives kept private.

    As for politicians (including Muslims in public office, of course), they are in the public sphere and ought to be excepted in legislation. People convicted of sex abuses are harder to treat:
    1) there is a whole range of convictions from baby-fucking to taking the wrong photo of your 17 year old partner, all of which tend to get you on the same register;
    2) the public justice system should be effectively dealing with offenders - if they're a danger, they shouldn't be in the wilderness or unsupervised anyway;
    3) most "PAEDOS HIDING EVERYWHERE" is pussified scare-mongering. If you're going to be sexually abused, it's almost certainly by someone you know well.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkTempes (822722) on Friday June 27, 2014 @06:42AM (#47331339)

    I agree that people have a legitimate, reasonable right to have their private lives kept private.
    I don't agree that public information on the internet that is indexed by Google constitutes private information.

    I can see a situation where someone illegally put your private information on the internet and you send a C&D and then get a court to order that website to remove that information and they comply and THEN you ask Google to remove it from search results (assuming it doesn't automatically get removed the next time the index is updated.)
    Maybe the website is in a different country and doesn't comply and you want Google to take it down.
    Then maybe I could understand an argument for a process to remove private information from Google.

    But if you post naked pictures of yourself on a forum or advocate cannibalism on twitter then tough luck. That's no longer private information as you just published it to the world.
    It's not like removing the information from their index without removing it from an actual website is going to make the information 'private' again.

  • Re:Good. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2014 @07:11AM (#47331425)

    Maybe it's the Arabs who do the terrorist attacks, but it's the Jews that provoke them. They take over land in Palestine and building a big fence, every year slowing taking away more homes for Palestinians. And in Israel, they treat the Palestinians as second-class citizens, with less rights and freedoms than the Jews. And the world turning a blind eye because of the Jewish owned media pays so much money to USA and Europe so they can do this without any interference from other countries or UN.

    There's much more to an issue than just one side. Maybe Westerners should take the time to hear the other side.

  • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zocalo (252965) on Friday June 27, 2014 @07:14AM (#47331437) Homepage

    The requests from nasty people will be publicised because that is the most effective way to give the appearance that these laws are harmful, even though the majority of people have a legitimate, reasonable right to have their private lives kept private.

    I'm curious whether Google is planning on posting a summary of this to Chilling Effects, just like they do for other takedown requests - something that I expect they will do at some point. No need to violate individual privacy requests, but a simple breakdown of what kind of information is being removed, in what kind of quantities and for what kind of reason/excuse should be sufficient to let people see whether or not this is being abused in any way. And for certain elements of the media to express their outrage over it, of course.

  • Bad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) on Friday June 27, 2014 @07:18AM (#47331453)

    This is like locking the door after the cow has bolted the barn. If there's something nasty about you that got out into the internets, the better solution would be to have Google downgrade the search results. Or maybe just mark it the way Google flags malware or hide it behind some sort of "Safe Search"-like filter.

    The way I see it, Google's compliance gives it less of a right to object to a government, such as China, pushing for Google to censor its results in the name of something supposedly more important, social stability because those nasty dissidents are harming the reputation of the Party bosses, who we all know are models of virtue until purged and officially denounced.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Friday June 27, 2014 @09:17AM (#47331995) Homepage

    That's not what the right to be forgotten is about. It's about maintaining the way information naturally used to fall from the public conciousness, and enforcing existing laws on the use of certain data.

    For example, someone who committed a crime a long time ago which is now considered spent by the state doesn't have to tell anyone about it. In the past the only records were in old newspapers and police archives, inaccessible to most people unless they were willing to invest significant time and money. Now those archived newspaper stories are preserved on the internet forever and only a Google search away.

    In the case that started all this a man had been bankrupt. That's a fact, but one which credit rating agencies are not allowed to report after a certain period of time has passed. If any bank could see the newspaper reports about the bankruptcy simply by searching Google that would have been undermined - society decided that after time bankruptcy would be "forgotten" so people could move on with their lives.

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -- Albert Einstein