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EU Court Backs 'Right To Be Forgotten'

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the bad-time-to-be-a-search-provider dept.

EU 153

NapalmV sends this news from the BBC: "The European Union Court of Justice said links to 'irrelevant' and outdated data should be erased on request. The case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google's search results infringed his privacy. Google said the ruling was 'disappointing.'" The EU Justice Commissioner said, "Companies can no longer hide behind their servers being based in California or anywhere else in the world. ... The data belongs to the individual, not to the company. And unless there is a good reason to retain this data, an individual should be empowered — by law — to request erasure of this data." According to the ruling (PDF), if a search provider declines to remove the data, the user can escalate the situation to a judicial authority to make sure the user's rights are being respected.

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Slashdot stories obviously have that right, too. (4, Informative)

plover (150551) | about 3 months ago | (#46994617)

Re:Slashdot stories obviously have that right, too (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 3 months ago | (#46994655)

There's a glitch in the Matrix today.

Re:Slashdot stories obviously have that right, too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46994727)

Why? Did you have deja vu while getting fucked in your queer ass by your faggot boyfriend? Because only a flaming, rump roasting faggot would ever mention The Fagtrix anymore. Or are you one of those fucking faggot retards who still chants the mantra; If you don't like the Fagtrix you don't understand the Fagtrix?
 
Go take another cock up your ass, faggot fanboy.

Re:Slashdot stories obviously have that right, too (3, Funny)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 3 months ago | (#46994743)

This guy was really disappointed by Revolutions.

Re:Slashdot stories obviously have that right, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46994989)

Had a bad day?

Re:Slashdot stories obviously have that right, too (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 3 months ago | (#46995643)

...he says while making a Matrix reference.

Re:Slashdot stories obviously have that right, too (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 3 months ago | (#46996851)

slashdots cache of approved articles expires after two minutes, that's why the editors keep approving similar stories all the time.

Thank god (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46994623)

Thank god for the european union......
Holy hell does the US government look like a douche now ~(lol)~

My server, my rules, my rights (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 3 months ago | (#46997659)

If I want to talk about you on my server, that is fine, I have a right to free speech that trumps your right over there. I can give any details I know about you and keep it up indefinitely. You do, of course have the right to request that I take it down, that is your right. So,try this experiment and make note of the outcome; request as well as you can, in one hand and shit as much as you can in the other hand; note which hand will fill up first...

Re:My server, my rules, my rights (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46997755)

Fortunately, no one will know about the data on your server. Unless it's indexed by Google, in which case I can have the links erased.

Now, hold your Bill of Rights, in one hand and shit as much as you can in the other hand; note that I don't care.

Unworkable (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 3 months ago | (#46994635)

Almost Nobody has a unique name.
I could be running for office, running a business, or selling my artwork, and have someone with the same name demand all link be removed when his name is keyed into the search engine.

How is Google to know which individual is being searched?

Re:Unworkable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46994689)

Obviously we're going to have to assign EVERYBODY unique names.

Re:Unworkable (2)

icebike (68054) | about 3 months ago | (#46994721)

I agree, AC 6763-of-93742234.

Half of slashdot disappears the minute Anonymous Coward contacts Google from a EU country.

Re:Unworkable (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 3 months ago | (#46995491)

Half of slashdot disappears the minute Anonymous Coward contacts Google from a EU country.

And nothing of value was lost.

Re:Unworkable (5, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 3 months ago | (#46994733)

Your point is valid but I've got one better. The only people that will use this will do so for what I consider nefarious purposes. Criminals, politicians you name it, if it makes the public aware of exactly what they've done they will demand to be erased.

Once the tool is created it will be available for government to use and suddenly we have the memory hole and Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

I like the idea of being able to make someone like facebook delete all your personal information but that's not how this tool is going to be used. It's going to be used by a politician to force Google to delete links to all stories about an affair they had. It will be used to censor the news not to maintain privacy as claimed. Frankly it's a politicians wet dream.

Re:Unworkable (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 3 months ago | (#46994767)

And that politician is named "Richard Santorum"

Re:Unworkable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46994873)

You sad because Santorum doesn't love you faggots? Don't get your panties in a bunch.

Why nefarious? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46994783)

These countries believe that if you did something dumb when you were 18, you should have the right to move on from it by the time you're 40. If you can't do that, there's no point in turning your life around. I can't say I entirely disagree with them--barring the obvious massive technical difficulties, it's a pretty nice thought.

Re:Why nefarious? (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 3 months ago | (#46995829)

Why should any factual information that was once public be removed? How far does this removal from the public's memory go. Are individuals also supposed to forget that something happened simply because some other person wishes that everyone forgot? Am I supposed to edit people out of pictures I might have taken?

Sounds to me like the EU is the douchebag for not accepting reality. This reminds me of the old saying about politicians thinking they have so much power that they can require the sun to not rise simply if they pass a law saying so.

Re:Why nefarious? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46996237)

This has made me curious indeed because I'm a European and lately I have due to certain reasons been studying the basics of law here - mostly so that I'll know when I need a lawyer and what to ask. I knew since before that non-public people (i.e. regular people, not politicians or celebrities) have more rights to privacy than public people do. In a possible lawsuit a court will of course have to decide if someone is a public person or not.

  Now, what I think the distant "ancestors" of this law are, are the principles for what is libel or slander here, which is different from the US. Truth is not an absolute defence here if you e.g. without a relevant reason bring up bad but true facts from someone's distant past*. If you without any reason start telling your coworkers that you know that one of them had a promiscuous lifestyle resulting in STDs and was convicted of a burglary when he was 18 and he's now 50 and has changed his life completely. That would cause "unjust harm" and you could thus be convicted even though everything you said was true. However, if you're involved in setting up a new business with some people you're perfectly entitled to bring up that you know that one of them has shown dishonesty in the past and been convicted of fraud because it's relevant information (and the fact that he/she is not a public person does not matter). Now, I would guess that most Americans think that truth should be an absolute defence in a libel or slander case but personally I'm a little bit torn about that after reading the above examples in one of the books. On the one hand, I think that you should be allowed to say anything as long as it's true but on the other I don't consider it quite right to e.g. enable your first gf whom you had a nasty breakup with to ruin your life when you're 40 by telling your in-laws about stupid shit you were involved in when you were 18, if she's still bitter because her life sucks and she wants revenge. What is "right" isn't all that black and white and I believe that such considerations are behind this "right to be forgotten".

*) Distant past is not defined precisely in years since what should reasonably be perceived as distant might be different if you're e.g. relatively young and have moved to a different city to get a way from a previous, bad lifestyle.

Re:Why nefarious? (3, Informative)

Cytotoxic (245301) | about 3 months ago | (#46997641)

Your example is pretty much the case that came before the court. Some lawyer went through a messy divorce and it and all the financial fallout hit the news. Since it was the most newsworthy thing he'd ever done, it was the topic of the search results on his name even years later. The articles are still live at the newspaper sites. The court isn't ordering them to take them down. They are just saying that Google can't point to the articles.

This is very bizarre. I suppose they see the book burning metaphor, so they won't force the library to take the book off the shelf and burn it. But they will force the library to remove it from the card catalog.

I understand not wanting some upskirt picture from when you were 22 years old to be the first thing people see about you when you are in your 40's and your kids are in middle school, but the EU's solution is terrible.

Charles Manson might be pretty tired of being tied to events of 40 years ago. So might Roman Polanski. That doesn't mean the government should be able to force a company like Google to corrupt their search results.

Re:Unworkable (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | about 3 months ago | (#46994799)

I like the idea of being able to make someone like facebook delete all your personal information but that's not how this tool is going to be used. It's going to be used by a politician to force Google to delete links to all stories about an affair they had. It will be used to censor the news not to maintain privacy as claimed. Frankly it's a politicians wet dream.

It would be fun if Google took the position that in order to keep something from accidentally slipping through, it has to nuke all mention of them anywhere, Just To Be Sure. How many politicians would take the bargain that erasing their misdeeds means they'll never appear again in search results, period?

Re:Unworkable (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 months ago | (#46994925)

Your point is valid but I've got one better. The only people that will use this will do so for what I consider nefarious purposes. Criminals, politicians you name it, if it makes the public aware of exactly what they've done they will demand to be erased.

How about this.... If "removal of search results" is exercised, when searching for the name a Red Banner will show up saying "The person by this name has blocked some of these search results."

Then a little link on the righthand side that says "More Information"; if you click there, it will show the original copy of the request for removal, and a list of the individual URLS that are currently being blocked from appearing in the search index due to their request.

Re:Unworkable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46997791)

Very fresh & rebellious loophole.

How about another link to a page that outlines how many billions of dollars Google will lose when they are barred from operating within the European Union?

See, EU jurisdictions can play this game as well.

Re:Unworkable (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#46997945)

Why should Google offer people a way to delve into another private individual's affairs, going back to the dawn of the internet and sometimes further, on a whim? You can't normally ask to see a random person's credit report, and it wouldn't include old bankruptcies that happened long ago anyway. You can't see their criminal record, and they are under no obligation to disclose spent convictions if applying to work for you.

Note that in many EU countries even public figures have a fair degree of privacy. The idea that any mistake should be a matter of public record forever, complete with photographic evidence and maybe a YouTube video, isn't one we subscribe to.

Re:Unworkable (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 3 months ago | (#46995849)

A Politician's affairs are already established as being in the public interest.
A criminal's activities may (or may not) be in the public interest.
The government is not a person.

Therefore, these groups would not be able to use this law as it explicitly excludes them.

There is no 'tool' being created, only that Google is being told it must conform to Data Protection laws in Europe if they want to process personal data of European private citizens by either deleting or making unavailable, personal data about you in certain specific cases.

Furthermore - Data protection laws have existing in Europe since the 80s at least. All my adult life I have been able to demand that data controllers amend, delete and reveal the personal information they hold about me. I've not noticed this have any particularly deleterious affect on the news media in the last 25 years.

Re:Unworkable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46996369)

I feel bad for the politicians. My wet dreams consist of me fucking nubile girls in the ass until I wake up with my bedsheets drenched in cum.

Re:Unworkable (3, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about 3 months ago | (#46996745)

So now I am a criminal or worse, a politician? Because I would like to be forgotten. The way you say it, it sounds like "If you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide." We already know that is a bullshit reason for politicians to abuse as well.

Sure, some wil use it for evil. That does not mean it IS evil.

Re:Unworkable (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#46997873)

So if someone breaks the law at age 16, pays their dues and has their criminal record wiped at 18 (legally the conviction is considered "spent") we shouldn't allow them to get on with their lives, become productive and law abiding members of society and contribute? Instead they should be shamed publicly online forever, just in case anyone was about to make the mistake of giving them a job or a car loan.

If someone lost their job, became ill and went bankrupt should that be held against them forever? Credit reference agencies are only allowed to keep it on file for five or six years.

All EU legal systems allow for things to be forgotten. Sure, they can't erase newspaper articles written years ago, but they can prevent companies that specialise in providing information about people from keeping that data indefinitely.

Re:Unworkable (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | about 3 months ago | (#46995041)

The scenario you posed it's interesting but you asked the wrong question. If a person says "searching for John Smith results in the following five search results and I'd like you to remove them" -- it doesn't matter which John Smith people were searching FOR... it only matters which John Smith they were GIVEN.

The question relating to your scenario is "how does google know that the page is about the requestor". Could be solved by making it a perjury to submit a false request, or requests go via notaries, or something like that.

Re: Unworkable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46996227)

Pretty sure that is exactly the scenario he posted, but yeah, there's no way anyone could be sure.

Re:Unworkable (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | about 3 months ago | (#46995143)

They have a Google+ and Facebook username.

Re:Unworkable (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 3 months ago | (#46995795)

If Google is unable to be sure, the 'competent authorities' will be able to confirm the personal data belongs to the individual making the request.

Re:Unworkable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46997049)

Read the statement from EU rather than the retarded headline, it is all sufficiently explained there.

Dupe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46994653)

Slashdot court backs the right of editors to forget which stories have already been posted.

Google.eu Homepage (3, Insightful)

PaddyM (45763) | about 3 months ago | (#46994685)

Dear Europe,
      You have been forgotten by Google.

Seriously, that's what I would do. How long would this law stay around? I mean I understand there are people who wish annoyingly stupid things in the past weren't tied to their names, but the legalization of the right to forget is a slippery slope (i.e. Stalin photoshopped Trotsky out of his photos) with plenty of examples of why revisionism is a bad idea. I sympathize with the originator of the idea, but if we are led to believe that most people are honest and decent, then a simple explanation is all that would be in order to understand his plight. To those ignorant who would see something on Google and blindly discriminate against individuals forever, I think it says more about society's inability to have mercy, then the need to enforce an unenforceable right to be forgotten. What next? When we determine how to erase memories, everyone will have to sit in the chair to forget about stuff like this?

Re:Google.eu Homepage (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 3 months ago | (#46994769)

So, what do you think should happen if, for example, you're searching for your name and find that the engine provides a link to some (hacked/stolen) database, complete with address, SSN, credit history, credit card numbers, medical records or similar data? Sure, it was the hackers that initially broke the law by stealing and then "making available" that data, but how about the search engine owners responsibility? Since they now provide an easy, direct path to the data, wouldn't it be "aiding and abetting" the public dissemination of such data? Combined with their refusal to remove the link ("we don't have such process"), how would it look like?

Re:Google.eu Homepage (3, Informative)

dskoll (99328) | about 3 months ago | (#46995335)

It's one thing to get Google to take down a link to information that can be used for identity theft, or to information that is libelous, or to information that can put you in harm's way.

The plaintiff in this case, however, wanted Google to take down information that was absolutely true and in no way useful for identity theft. He just wanted the information taken down because he didn't like it. There's no way Google should have been forced to do that.

Re:Google.eu Homepage (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 3 months ago | (#46995997)

Still a valid point. Why should personal info appear on internet when it was never your intention to put it there? And on top of it being searchable by name?

How about a minimal protection like the search engine eliminating all names from the searchable index, unless, of course, at indexing time they were found to be enclosed in special HTML tags saying "this name should be indexed"? If the information gets unintentionally on the net, most likely the tags won't be there. On the other hand if you create a page that you intentionally want to come up when searching for "Joe Doe", then you enclose the Joe Doe name within the appropriate tags. Google has for example mechanisms to not let you search for credit card numbers (or something resembling them), how about the same protection for names?

Re:Google.eu Homepage (1)

dskoll (99328) | about 3 months ago | (#46997535)

Why should personal info appear on internet when it was never your intention to put it there?

It wasn't personal information; it was public information. And you might as well ask: Why should newspapers be allowed to report anything about you? Let's face it, some newspapers (tabloids, for example) publish intensely personal information about people and while many find it distasteful, no-one is suggesting that the tabloids should be censored.

Re:Google.eu Homepage (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#46998035)

His problem was that although credit agencies had removed any mention of his bankruptcy (as per the law, after a certain time you no longer have to declare it and agencies can't keep it on file, to stop being being ruined for life) it was easy for anyone to find that information with Google.

Re:Google.eu Homepage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46996981)

Sure, it was the hackers that initially broke the law by stealing and then "making available" that data, but how about the search engine owners responsibility?

No no, as we have learned by slashdot decree, one cannot steal data.

Re:Google.eu Homepage (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#46995077)

My concern is what about public information that is commonly considered high value, should that be forgotten? In this particular case it was about an old news story. Should Google be required to remove links that pointed to online copies of a newspaper? Should physical copies of the newspapers in libraries be redacted?

I laughed because one of the comments in the BBC news article was from someone who claimed his political views over time had changed, and implied that he didn't want people to see his old views. So what if this person had written a letter to the editor, and now that view is included in physical newspapers? Part of this to me feels like twenty-somethings just wanting things online to be exactly how they like, regardless of how practical it is.

I can see the ideas behind wanting to be forgotten online. However there should be distinct limits. Having facebook scrub most of the stuff you had there is one thing, but requiring all links to public information including that outside of fluffy social nets is too long of a reach.

Re:Google.eu Homepage (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 3 months ago | (#46995845)

Why not. Wasn't that the job of the protagonist in "1984"?

Re:Google.eu Homepage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46996905)

Dear American troll, if you don't like the laws of the lands, take your business elsewhere. Bribing politicians does work as well over here.

Re:Google.eu Homepage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46997649)

Except they will never do that simply because of all the Money to be made in the European block.

If they dont like our rules dont do business in our house.

Counterproductive (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 3 months ago | (#46994701)

Google isn't the one presenting the data. They're just indexing it. If you prevent search engines from indexing the data, the out-of-date data is still out there. Readily available for anyone who's doing a background check using resources other than a public search engine to find and turn down your loan application.

So this decision actually makes it harder for the little guy to find out there's bad data about him floating around out there, so he can go about getting it fixed. The next guy in his shoes will just get his loan or credit card application denied. He'll have no clue he was denied because the actual data repositories have incorrect data on him, and he'll have no easy/free way to figure out what that bad data might be and who is housing it.

RE: Counterproductive (1)

Meshach (578918) | about 3 months ago | (#46994751)

Google isn't the one presenting the data...

This is not claimed by the article. While Google was the one sued the article says that the ruling applies to any search provided who receives a complaint.

Re:Counterproductive (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#46994965)

Google isn't the one presenting the data.

Google is presenting it, in the form of an annotated summary or index, or however you'd like to word it.

So this decision actually makes it harder for the little guy to find out there's bad data about him floating around out there, so he can go about getting it fixed.

So because I "could" request my data be deleted, Google will preemptively not index it? No, you are confusing things. This will make it no harder for the "little guy" to find bad stuff about himself, but will make it harder for others to accidentally run across "bad stuff" someone wants forgotten.

Re:Counterproductive (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | about 3 months ago | (#46997669)

I think his point was valid. Sure, Google may end up having to comply. And their results will become less reliable because of it.

So what happens next? If the data is valuable, and the results from Google (and other public sites) becomes unreliable, how long before Experian or some other data aggregator begins selling their own version of uncorrupted search results and personal data that you don't get to see and edit?

Equally valid, if this really does become an issue with the big search engines, how long before everybody starts using the new startup from Indonesia or the Phillipines?

This is bullshit (1)

IJ Hull (3538543) | about 3 months ago | (#46994739)

So I'm in the EU and often agree with the supreme court's decisions - but this is bullshit. The information is showing up on google because - it is in the public record - ie its been published in newspapers. That's that guys problem - but it is his problem - nobody elses. They're asking google to ignore publically available info because "i don't like it" no thanks . just wrong. feel sorry for this little guy but the decision is still wrong. I killed my wife 20 years ago but I served my time and now that info is irrelevant - yes if you want to read the daily news from 1973 you'll know what I did, but can't find it on the internet. Fuck those judges.

Re:This is bullshit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#46994937)

Makes sense to me. Google is a for-profit data aggregator. The personal data belongs to the person, not the court publishing it, or the aggregator selling it. If someone wishes to remove their information from the aggregator, that should be allowed. The information belongs to the person, not the agggregator.

That wouldn't work in the US, where free speech trumps all, and "privacy" doesn't exist, but other places have different priorities of rights (though, rarely less rights, just different assignments of priorities).

Re:This is bullshit (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#46995135)

What if someone wishes to remove all that information, period. Or denying access to it. From physical magazines and newspapers, from halls of records, criminal reports, photocopies of correspondence, and so on. What makes the internet different in this regard, other than that some people mistakenly think it is easy to do on the internet?

The information does not belong to the aggregator OR to the person the information is about. The information belongs to the content creator (who sometimes has a copyright on that information as well). These people need to learn that if they make a mistake, like posting nude pictures of themselves climbing a local landmark, that they must live with those mistakes and hope people will eventually forget.

Re:This is bullshit (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 3 months ago | (#46995371)

You don't own the rights to magazines or criminal records etc. You can only request the removal of data you OWN about you.

Re:This is bullshit (1)

jschrod (172610) | about 3 months ago | (#46995381)

The information does not belong to the aggregator OR to the person the information is about. The information belongs to the content creator (who sometimes has a copyright on that information as well).

If that's the case in the US, that's an important distinction between the USA and Europe: Personal information belongs to a person, not to any content creator. So-called content creators are not allowed to publish information about me that I haven't approved. Content aggregators like search engines are not allowed to spread the work further.

An exception is made for "persons of public interest". This usually means politicians or movie stars who earn their money with public engagements. It does not mean publication of any minor breach of the law, or similar information.

And yes, this applies to the physical publication world as well. 100,000s of books have been called back, causing much more lost money than in Internet parlance, because this law hasn't been respected in the first place.

Btw, and it ain't so that Google has problems or outrageous costs associated with fulfilling this court's request. They have the infrastructure already in place, to cope with the link takedown demands of RIAA et.al.

Re:This is bullshit (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 3 months ago | (#46995863)

So the "public domain" is not actually public but belongs to individuals. That is, if I place a work of art or code or whatever into the public domain, then I can later redact it from the public domain and demand that anyone who has copied it destroy their copies?

Re:This is bullshit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#46996155)

Not once it's in the Public Domain, but you are incorrectly presuming that anything "owned" by an individual is automatically in the Public Domain, and things owned by corporation aren't.

Re:This is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46996749)

You should request the data be removed from the court publishing it. Once that is gone, it'll disappear from the data aggregator. It's not the aggregator's job to figure out what publicly accessible data is safe to display or not. All of it should be since it's already been published openly. That would work fine for search engines like Google. Profile builders like Facebook are a different matter since they do more with the data compared to just saying it exists.

Re:This is bullshit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#46996915)

So your argument is that Google Cache doesn't exist? How's sticking your head in the sand working for you?

Re:This is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46994979)

If you have been found not guilty, we don't hold a prior guilty charge against you for the rest of your life...
LIKE AMERICA, ever wonder why your prisons are so overloaded?!? You're a country of complete and utter anti-social that holds everything against anyone, just to feel good about yourself (smug sociopath nation)

No bullshit at all (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 3 months ago | (#46997115)

You say it yourself: your crime is forgotten in real life. Only if one knows where to look and take a lot of trouble, it could be found again. Not so with Google. Heck, I could just type in the name of a village and find the article describing a domestic murder from 20 years ago. That is way different. Information can hurt. Even information that is not true.

Re:This is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46997309)

I killed my wife 20 years ago but I served my time and now that info is irrelevant - yes if you want to read the daily news from 1973 you'll know what I did, but can't find it on the internet.

Ah, you must be a user of ReiserFS then.

Do judges understand the Internet? (1)

no-body (127863) | about 3 months ago | (#46994759)

There is a right to remove the reference on a search engine but the source still exists...
How many search engines are there?
Juristriction over a particular search engine is from where?

Nice try!

Re:Do judges understand the Internet? (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 3 months ago | (#46998015)

The only way to find it would be for you to read the judgement yourself, its freely available and all your questions are answered there.

Yes, the source still exists. The judges understood this and it was a key part of the whole case (the plaintiff wanted it removed from the source as well, but this was declined).

There are lots of search engines. I'm not sure why the number of businesses affected by the ruling has any bearing on the ruling.

The jurisdiction is based on where the information is gathered from. If Google are processing and controlling data about a British citizen they need to conform to British or European laws regarding the handling of this data.

Republicans already forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46994843)

because they're so stupid. Fucking idiots.

Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#46994881)

Really, why is the EU even considering this?

I can sympathize with somebody who has done something in the past that they wish other people would forget about, but I can all to easily see the ramifications of implementing this leading well into historical negationism [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Those that forget history are doomed to repeat (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#46995163)

I'm certain a lot of former prison guards at concentration camps would have loved to have had the ability expunge old records that would be used in the future to implicate them. Whoops, EU newspapers have a bad opinion of a third world dictator, so now he can sue to have them "forget" it all. Pop singer decides to switch to Christian rock instead, so sues to remove all old information about her that would detract from the new image being created.

Re:Those that forget history are doomed to repeat (1)

jschrod (172610) | about 3 months ago | (#46995289)

Exept that the EU court explicitely excepted persons or actions of public interest of that ruling.

And no, there is no formal definition what is a person or action of public interest. This will be decided by courts on a case-by-case decision. As it should be, humans should judge, not algorithms.

Re:Those that forget history are doomed to repeat (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | about 3 months ago | (#46997681)

Which is funny because the case was decided about a lawyer who wanted to expunge results pointing to news articles about court proceedings involving his personal life and finances. You know, public records that the government maintains and provides to the public.

Truly the court has a dizzying intellect.....

Sure thing (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about 3 months ago | (#46994889)

What could possibly go wrong?

Winston... (1)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 3 months ago | (#46995125)

... keeps his back to the screen. From his window he sees the Ministry of Truth, where he works as a propaganda officer altering historical records to match the Partyâ€(TM)s official version of past events.

Re:Winston... (1)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 3 months ago | (#46995155)

â€(TM)

Why doesn't this show up in preview? (not a coder, so I genuinely don't understand.)

Re:Winston... (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 3 months ago | (#46995425)

Slashdot uses different code for the preview and the actual post. This is of course a terrible idea, but it's Slashcode. There are lots of terrible ideas.

Re:Winston... (1)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 3 months ago | (#46995665)

Thank you. I have asked this before to no response. Much appreciated.

Re:Winston... (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 3 months ago | (#46997753)

On a related note, why does £ seem to work for me but not others?

Re:Winston... (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 3 months ago | (#46997971)

Unicode works, but only a small number of characters, due to the use of a whitelist. People were doing strange things with RTL control characters, hiding posts, rewriting parts of the page above, etc, so instead of blacklisting the RTL characters and languages that use them they whitelisted a tiny tiny subset of Unicode. This is of course another terrible idea. The whitelist is never updated. The preview code doesn't seem to use the same list.

Terrible decision (1)

dskoll (99328) | about 3 months ago | (#46995313)

Sure, at first glance it looks good, but really this is a bad decision. We're going to see Scientologists demanding removal of any anti-Scientology material. The whole thing is a bit Stalinesque... people feel they have the right to erase the past just as Stalin erased those who fell out of favor from photographs.

Once what you do is in the public record, it's out there. You have no more right to demand its removal from the Internet than you do to demand libraries cut out articles about you from archived newspapers.

Re:Terrible decision (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 3 months ago | (#46995591)

Well, the anti-Scientology material does not belong to the Scientologists. The copyright owners of such material are the critics of Scientology. So the removal request will be denied.

However, you should have the right to remove stuff from the internet that
a) You own
and
b) Did not intend to publish (eg: internet search phrases)

Re:Terrible decision (1)

dskoll (99328) | about 3 months ago | (#46997539)

The material the plaintiff in this case wanted removed was not owned by him. It was simply the fact that at some point in the past, his home had been foreclosed --- a matter of public record.

awesome decision (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 3 months ago | (#46995727)

No.

Scientology is not a person. Therefore data that is stored and processed about Scientology is not personal data.

the Court holds that
a fair balance should be sought in
particular between that interest and the data subject’s fundamental rights, in particular the right to
privacy and the right to protection of personal
data. The Court observes in this regard that, whilst it
is true
that the data subject’s rights also override, as a general rule, that interest of internet users,
this
balance may however depend, in specific cases, on the nature of the information in question
and its sensitivity for the data subject’s private life and on the interest of the public in having that
information, an interest which may vary, in particular, according to the role played by the data
subject in public life
.
Can you think of some compelling reason for Google to inform anyone on the planet that searches for some ordinary person's name that they had financial problems and couldn't pay their mortgage in the 90s? Or that they had an embarrassing illness? That they were sexually assaulted?

Re:awesome decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46997155)

Evidence to be used to help push for change. Change that is needed for we live in a society in which the government auctions off our houses to pay for taxes!

Also, can Google charge that person a fee in order to remove said records? What's the going rate to hire a tech person to do something? Let's say $90/hour--$90 for the first hour, $45 for each additional 30 minutes. Would that be fair?

Re:awesome decision (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 3 months ago | (#46997733)

But why would you need to be able to personally identify individuals as part of that evidence gathering? In actual science, unless there is compelling reason, the data is usually stripped of personally identifiable information.

I don't know about charges, but there are some cases where data controllers can charge. This is usually limited to data subject access requests and the allowable fee is nominal ($10 or so).

Re:awesome decision (1)

dskoll (99328) | about 3 months ago | (#46997543)

Can you think of some compelling reason for Google to inform anyone on the planet that searches for some ordinary person's name that they had financial problems and couldn't pay their mortgage in the 90s? Or that they had an embarrassing illness? That they were sexually assaulted?

If these things are a matter of public record, then Google should serve them up in a search. If they were not a matter of public record and someone posted them maliciously, maybe you'd have a point.

The problem is that once we start allowing people to block things about themselves they don't like, the whole system is opened up for tremendous abuse. In this case, the public interest in not altering historical facts should take precedence over individuals' dislike of those facts.

Re:awesome decision (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 3 months ago | (#46997775)

But the evidence is overwhelmingly against your alarmism. Many of us on this side have been able to request information be corrected or deleted from data controllers for like 25 years - and since you seem to have only just heard about this, it seems the notion that the system is opened for abuse seems false.

Nobody is altering historical facts - they are just saying that if those facts relate to a living person and have an impact on their privacy - then it shouldn't be the case that everybody with an internet access gets to see those facts. Just like I don't get to see your mother's medical records, or your cousin's mental health admissions details or that you didn't pay your cable bill for 3 months in 1999. There is no compelling reason for these historical facts to be presented to the world in a format like google which makes putting disparate bits of information together a near trivial task.

Re:awesome decision (1)

dskoll (99328) | about 3 months ago | (#46997551)

Scientology is not a person

You are not thinking creatively enough. :) In the USA, corporations have many of the rights of a person. And the Scientologists could easily find creative lawyers who could reasonably claim that the anti-Scientology material names names and is therefore hurting particular people.

Re:awesome decision (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 3 months ago | (#46997815)

Well - DP laws have been around since before the world wide web. If it was easy for Scientology to do these things, why don't you show me some examples of it being done?

No Problem (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#46995547)

NapalmV sends this news from the BBC: "The European Union Court of Justice said links to 'irrelevant' and outdated data should be erased on request.

No sweat. There's no such thing as irrelevant or outdated data. Problem solved.

The right to remember (2)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | about 3 months ago | (#46996279)

Any "right to be forgotten" needs to be accompanied by a "right to remember". Information legitimately published should never have to be removed from the web or pruned from search results. Information disclosed illegally is, of course, a different matter, but legitimate information, once published, should never be suppressed.

Yesterdays decision is a blow to freedom of speech. It allows sweeping factual, legitimately published information under the rug simply because the subject doesn't like the fact that the information is public. It is censorship and nothing less.

Re:The right to remember (1)

arobatino (46791) | about 3 months ago | (#46996531)

The so-called "right to be forgotten" would be more accurately described as the "right to force other people to forget". There is no such right, as you point out.

Re:The right to remember (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46996947)

Everyone already has the right to remember something. It is as simple as saving the web page or printing it to PDF. Nobody can stop you saving it.

The summary says that LINKS to outdated and irrelevant information should be removed on request. It doesn't say anything about the data itself.

Thus if a newspaper publishes a story about you being drunk at college when you're 21, in 20 years time you might ask Google to delete the link from its cache (the link is now to outdated and irrelevant information) but you can't ask the newspaper to withdraw publishing of the article for it owns the copyright, etc. Now it might be hard to find that information once the link is removed by Google but that's another matter.

Re:The right to remember (1)

arobatino (46791) | about 3 months ago | (#46997153)

Everyone already has the right to remember something. It is as simple as saving the web page or printing it to PDF.

How can anyone exercise their "right" to "be forgotten" if saving local copies is allowed?

Nobody can stop you saving it.

Although this particular legislation doesn't ban that, laws already exist making it illegal to make local copies of certain content. Plugging the "local copy" loophole would be the next step.

The summary says that LINKS to outdated and irrelevant information should be removed on request. It doesn't say anything about the data itself.

You left out the quotes around the word "irrelevant", which were there because it's subjective. Who gets to decide that? Same for "outdated", even there were no quotes in the article.

Thus if a newspaper publishes a story about you being drunk at college when you're 21, in 20 years time you might ask Google to delete the link from its cache (the link is now to outdated and irrelevant information)

Even if said person is about to run for public office? (Just one example.)

but you can't ask the newspaper to withdraw publishing of the article for it owns the copyright, etc. Now it might be hard to find that information once the link is removed by Google but that's another matter.

If the newspaper is allowed to continue publishing the article, then the incident isn't "forgotten". Another loophole. To "protect" people's "right" to be forgotten, it's necessary to ban search engine links to the content, posting the content itself, and the making of local copies of it. If any copies survive, anywhere, the job isn't done. On the other hand, if your belief is that the goal should be to make access not impossible, but merely difficult, that just means that only the rich and/or powerful will be able to find the information. How is that a good thing?

Re:The right to remember (1)

arobatino (46791) | about 3 months ago | (#46997177)

TL;DR: To ensure a level playing field between ordinary people and the rich/powerful, information access should be either easy or impossible, and the second option is out.

Re:The right to remember (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 3 months ago | (#46997847)

The right to be forgotten is a trite media interpretation, not a legal right.

People, get your Judges shit straight, now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46996887)

Hmm, so what if I exercise my right to forget all the EU's product registration codes and email addresses tied to them?

I thought they had me nailed down with their consumer rights laws to provide services consumers paid for... But someone has just requested I forget all data concerning their email address matching *@*.co.uk, and there's no way for me to know that those aren't actually their accounts. I expect similar emails from other country names soon. I'd send out a mass mailing to confirm, but that's against the anti-SPAM laws.

Guess I'll just halt all downloads to anyone who's government is run by morons. Nice going idiots.

Undertanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46996985)

Hi

I was reading the comments and I begun to experience the feeling that many of the people commenting have no idea what the EU jugdes said.

Basically the man who started all is a "John Doe", no politician, no businessman. 15 years ago he got financial problems and lost his home. After a while he recovered from that and then, one day, he went to a company and discovered that the record of his past problems are still on the internet, not only that, he got difficulties everywhere trying to get a credit card, buying something on credit and so and so.

The judges sais, IF you are not a public figure, you must have the right to ask people like google to remove the links to old information who can be bad for you, IF this information is no more useful, it must not be linked if it harms you. If you are a public figure it is on the public interest to keep this info alive. If the information is irrelevant, don't mess with the justice.

The info is not erased, the records are still on the web, the only thing erased is the link on google, so if someone look for your name on internet, he won't find that 20 years ago you lost your home because you got financial problems. If you are a bank, you have direct access to this information, you don't need to look for it on internet.

So basically it means that EU citizens got rights.

Regards

Pablo

Re:Undertanding (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 3 months ago | (#46997547)

As you say the idea that banks and other financial institutions are doing credit checks by doing internet searches is laughable. The guy got into financial difficulties, this went into his credit reference, it will likely stay there for ever as it is relevant information.

The question then has to be how does the fact that Mr Gonzalez put his house up for auction which is factually correct information actually harm him? You can put property on the market for a million reasons all of which are perfectly legitimate, so what's the problem?

Now had the information been inaccurate, in some way factually wrong or gathered using illegal means then it should be removed.

The stupid thing is now everyone will for ever know that Mr Gonzalez had financial problems. Or perhaps the court thinks that this ruling should be redacted...

Re:Undertanding (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 3 months ago | (#46997883)

Actually - financial institutions do use facebook and google to run checks on people. I've done it myself as part of a financial institution on a regular basis. It's kind of fun when people brag on facebook about committing fraud :)

Takes a European Court to protect American Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46997011)

Basically none of the technology which is now used to spy on Americans, destroying their privacy, existed when the Bill of Rights was put together. And basically none of it could have been forseen. So what? That corporatists and governments find new ways to surveill people for fun and profit using new technology shouldn't be a work around for the INTENT of the rule of law. People have a right to privacy.

You should be able to sue Google and win if you request Google NOT store your information without your permission.

Of course that would put Google as we know it out of business. So what. Good riddance.

We used to think of Microsoft as the great evil. Microsoft was nothing compared to Google as a blight upon humanity.

Recursion error - redo from start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46997237)

This link [bbc.co.uk] points to a search of the BBC news site for the text 'Mario Costeja Gonzalez'. The search results contain links to articles on the BBC news site that mention the fact that Mario Costeja Gonzalez had financial difficulties in 1998.

Is Slashdot responsible for the content of the link ?
Is the BBC responsible for their search results ?

The ruling seems to suggest that the BBC can publish a news article that mentions the fact that Mario Costeja Gonzalez had to auction his house, but they have to prevent the article from appearing in the search results on their own site ?

Why so few comments? (3, Interesting)

bradley13 (1118935) | about 3 months ago | (#46997419)

I find it really strange that so few people have commented on this - this has the potential for huge impacts on the quality of information available on the Internet!

As far as I can see, the court must be populated by judges that have zero clue how the Internet works. The particular case that provoked the decision: A Spanish man went bankrupt, and his house was auctioned off. This is part of the public record in Spain (in particular, it appears in newspaper articles) and Google - obviously - has indexed this public information and provides links to it.

The court does not say that the newspaper articles must be removed - in fact, they are specifically allowed to remain. The court says that Google may be told not to link to those pages, when given a search on this person's name.

So now individual people can tell search engines "I don't like that link, delete it"? Even though the information is publicly available and objectively, factually true? Does this make any sense?

How will this scale, when millions of people want to edit their lives in the Internet? How are these requests supposed to be checked? First, what is the definition of "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" information? Second, how do you determine whether the person making the request is the person affected (especially given the possibility of shared names)?

Finally, what effect will this have on search results? What you want to hide may be exactly what I really need to know! Why does this businessman think his previous bankruptcy is irrelevant - is that not precisely the kind of information that his potential customers and/or employers are legitimately interested in?

This decision demonstrates appalling technical ignorance on the part of the court, and has the potential to seriously screw up the concepts behind public search engines.

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