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Google Starts Removing Search Results After EU Ruling

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the forget-me dept.

EU 138

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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Good. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#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. (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 months ago | (#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. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331175)

Every politician is hiding a dodgy paedophile somewhere.

Re:Good. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#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. (4, Insightful)

DarkTempes (822722) | about 4 months ago | (#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. (3, Informative)

Poeli (573204) | about 4 months ago | (#47331375)

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.

Nope, because google does not have to remove it from their index. All they have to remove is the link between a search term and a search result. The result can still show up if you use a different search term.

Re:Good. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 4 months ago | (#47332033)

That would be wrong. They should remove it properly. It's not like they don't have the capability to do so. They do it every day for people who try to game the search engine.

And as for having the information still available on websites, the by far most common way for people to find the website is through a search engine. Remove a website from the search engine indexes, and the website might as well not exist for the _vast_ majority of people.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332355)

You don't get it.

You can have a site that links to the blacklisted/removed site and it'd still work just as well is what Poeli was saying.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331407)

But if you post naked pictures of yourself on a forum [...] you just published it to the world.

No, you just published to a forum. The photos still belong to you, and nobody else has the moral right to scatter them around. I know geeks like to think in black & white, but it's not about public vs. private info - it's about having control over your info. Copyright already goes some way to protecting dissemination of images, but you have to have the money to enforce it.

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.

Then purloined information (e.g. taken by a cracker) should be allowed to be spread too - after all, that's not going to be made private again either, is it?

The point is not to keep things absolutely private. It's about understanding the value of personal information to the person, and limiting the harm caused to them by use of that information. Slowing the spread will limit the harm.

I understand the value of public interest. I also understand that the last 20 years have created a very different environment as far as record-keeping, where people can say the most atrocious things in some places, while others they aren't able to move an inch out of place without having their words torn apart and misrepresented. The Internet tends to be a highly misleading, selective record of behaviour. I've used it since 1994 and, since around 2001 or so, made a point to rarely post with my real identity, after having seen the damage caused to others - almost invariably by those with malicious intentions.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331655)

Moral rights? You mean like the "moral right" people have to lie about who they really are in order to deceive and to get what they want from others? Because that's exactly what this law is about.

If someone has the "moral right" to lie to me, then someone who knows the truth should have the "moral right" to tell it and I should have the "moral right" to have access to that information. The game should be fair and not favor the cheaters.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332305)

I think you misunderstand this legislation completely. It does NOT give people the right to hide "who they 1. really 2. are".

Re:Good. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47331765)

look, your naked pictures would be covered by COPYRIGHT(and robots.txt, but hey, if it's your server you could delete the stuff yourself but if someone copied them and was distributing them.. it's a copyright issue not a "right to be forgotten" issue) and that was already handled.

this is for hiding that you drove over a cat ten years ago.. really. you can paint it any way you want but what you had copyright to was already covered and you could ask them to remove it. so what is this for? for stuff you don't have copyright to but want to still remove from collective memory.

Re:Good. (1)

Jiro (131519) | about 4 months ago | (#47332575)

Using a naked picture of someone to illustrate the claim that they were naked is probably fair use, especially if other fair use factors also apply (which they probably do), such as non-commercial use and no effect on the market for the naked picture.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47331995)

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.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | about 4 months ago | (#47331437)

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.

Re:Good. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331491)

You're an idiot and probably a closeted pedo too.

We're talking about an INNOCENT CHILD'S LIFE here, and you are saying it's just scaremongering. Any threat to a child's well-being should be taken seriously, and these PEDOPHILES are a SERIOUS THREAT that will ruin the child's life FOREVER.

Re:Good. (2)

Viol8 (599362) | about 4 months ago | (#47331509)

Wow, lots of capital letters. That really adds weight to your riposte.

Re: Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331519)

The innocent kids could see people procreating so we better stop ever do that. End the continuation of the human race to protect the innocence of the children!

Re:Good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331623)

I agree! Let's lock up EVERY ADULT, just in CASE!.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331507)

The requests from nasty people will be publicised because that is the most effective way to give the appearance that these laws are harmful

No, they won't.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331579)

if they're a danger, they shouldn't be in the wilderness or unsupervised anyway;

In that case, a judge should ruled on that specifically. Just tacking on another punishment after they should have been released from prison is (and should be) unconstitutional.

Re:Good. (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 4 months ago | (#47331219)

a lot of the requests

Just ignoring your random racism for a moment, just because there's a *request* does not mean it will be honoured. The balance between public right to know and your privacy is still involved, and ultimately it's the Information Commissioner that gets to decide.

Re:Good. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 months ago | (#47331245)

a lot of the requests

Just ignoring your random racism for a moment, just because there's a *request* does not mean it will be honoured. The balance between public right to know and your privacy is still involved, and ultimately it's the Information Commissioner that gets to decide.

You know something. If I changed religion my race would be the same. If I became a communist or a tea party member I would still be the same race. Difficult concept I know.

Re:Good. (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 4 months ago | (#47331321)

Does that make the prejudice less bad (or what is your point)? the Jewish in Germany were killed for their religion as were communists and many other social minorities AFAIK.

The word prejudice doesn't sound as bad as 'racism' but racism is merely a simple subset of prejudice'

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331361)

The Jewish in Germany were killed for their race, not for their religion. Race is something you are born with, live with and die with (unless your name is Michael Jackson and you have bucketloads of cash to burn). Religion and political allegiances can be changed.

Re:Good. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47332841)

the Jewish in Germany were killed for their religion

Nope. They were killed for their ethnicity. Even Jews that had been Christian for generations were killed.

Re:Good. (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 4 months ago | (#47331333)

You know something. If I changed religion my race would be the same. If I became a communist or a tea party member I would still be the same race. Difficult concept I know.

Fine, brilliant, I used the wrong word. Replace with "islamophobia", "prejudice" or "bigotry". Pick your favourite. They all come from the same place of ignorance & tribalism.

Re:Good. (-1, Flamebait)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#47331345)

Fine, brilliant, I used the wrong word. Replace with "islamophobia", "prejudice" or "bigotry". Pick your favourite. They all come from the same place of ignorance & tribalism.

That's great and all, but if I walk into the streets of oh let's say France, I don't need to worry if I'm a Jew that Christians are going to start attacking me. On the otherhand, I do have a valid fear of that from muslims. There's no prejudice or bigotry when a statement is factual, it means that there's something fundamentally wrong with a person, group, or sect.

Re:Good. (2)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 4 months ago | (#47331377)

So the extreme wings of Christianity has groups like the KKK, and you very much should fear them if you're Jewish. By your logic any Christian should be also feared.

Do you think the streets of France are awash with Muslim-on-Christian violence?

Re:Good. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#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. (0)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#47331549)

You do know that "groups" like the KKK are more about political ideology than about religion right? And are more so about race than religion right. If you want to play the logic game, go a head and research it. Oh and France awash with Muslim on Christian violence? Well...let's take a look at the news shall we...it appears that it is...damn.

Re:Good. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47331393)

Try walking in some areas of Israel - they have some pretty radical Judaism based religions that treat other Jews and Christians much like you describe your fear of Muslims treating you.

Re:Good. (2)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 months ago | (#47331653)

Your fear isn't valid, though. That's the thing. You think that's the case, and are willing to label millions of people in the process, simply because you're intellectually lazy. Tell us again why anyone should listen to you?

Re:Good. (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 months ago | (#47331739)

If by 'valid fear' you mean 'prejudice-inspired paranoia', then your statement may be true.

Re:Good. (1)

risom (1400035) | about 4 months ago | (#47331773)

That's great and all, but if I walk into the streets of oh let's say France, I don't need to worry if I'm a Jew that Christians are going to start attacking me.

If you are a Jew in France you have a pretty high propability of Christians attacking you. You should read real news more often, France has a massive racism problem right now. Jews are emigrating from France at an unprecedented scale (WW2 excluded).

Re:Good. (2)

Wootery (1087023) | about 4 months ago | (#47331975)

On the otherhand, I do have a valid fear of that from muslims.

Err, in which country, pray?

Here in England I'm pretty sure I'm more likely to be harmed by a Christian or atheist than by a Muslim, just by virtue of the fact that there are more Christians and atheists than Muslims. My 'valid fear' doesn't really run across religious lines.

Re: Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332517)

Yes but Muslims are more likely to try and blow up trains (and stuff) there than Christians, thus offsetting the risks.

Re: Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332679)

Ever heard of the IRA?

Re:Good. (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 4 months ago | (#47331487)

Right, so you chose the wrong word that had the biggest negative weight behind it.

As for Islamophobia, I doubt many people are actually frightened by Islam, more that they are disgusted by its attitudes to other religions, women [google.co.uk] , apostasy [youtu.be] and homosexuality. So again, wrong word. Anti-Islamic would probably the best description, and many people would not feel that being described as such would be negative, for the reasons stated above. I'm wouldn't really class myself as an anti-theist - believe what ever makes you happy, but if your beliefs start impinging on the rights of people who don't toe the line, then fuck you, you deserve no respect.

So we're left with prejudice and bigotry. Prejudice may or may not apply - it was preconceived, but not necessarily without reason. As for bigotry, it is a result of somebody's prejudices which as I said may not be a valid argument for him being a bigot.

It's quite possible that Muslims were mentioned because Catholics priests (who may want to remove any mention of themselves from google) would fall under the paedophile group already mentioned.

Of course ChrisQ may be a complete Islamophobe (who shakes with fear when he sees a niqab), and loathes every Muslim, no matter how moderate, but to base that opinion on a line of text is just plain stupid. What's certain is that both yourself and myself are both being prejudiced against ChrisQ as we've been passing preconceived comments on him without knowing the actual basis of his comments.

Re:Good. (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 months ago | (#47331661)

ChrisQ frequently makes posts complaining about Muslims or Islam, and usually without any good reason. You can check his history to confirm this. His post in this thread is merely one of many occasions.

Re:Good. (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 4 months ago | (#47332231)

Yeah, about 10% of his posts mention "Muslim". A fairly large percentage of them are based on the Muslim - terrorist stereotype, a fair few have references to support criticisms of Islam. Nothing beats a bit of Friday afternoon Slashdot stalking! Quite frankly, he's got every right to be highly critical of Islam, but tarring everyone with the same bush certainly isn't reasonable.

The problem I have is that people are quite happy to throw around accusations racist, *phobic, bigot as an argument against somebody's comments without ever supporting their argument, or even understanding the terms they're using. It's like a feminist calling a man a misogynist when he doesn't agree with them, or being accused of being anti-Semitic when criticising Israeli policies. More often it's just a knee-jerk reaction rather than a reasoned argument, and quite frankly the laziness of it pisses me off.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331359)

I'm sure your mom will get in on the act soon to get rid of links to her ambitious days of making a leap to amateur pornstar from stripper "working" her way up and finally giving up after a mishap and having you.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331391)

Maybe, but I think people deserve the right to erase parts of their past if it's not true anymore. Even a child molester, if he hasn't molested kids in X amount of years, should be able to hide that information from a general search. Same for politicians with dodgy pasts, assuming they've been clean in the last X years. (Very hard to decide a value for X, and perhaps it could vary with the severity of the issue).

I understand the public wants to know about these things, but forever pigeonholing people based on events in their pasts is absurd. This hopefully will shut down the sex offender registry (it should expire after a certain amount of years, not last forever) and political attack ads that bring up facts from long ago (this politician voted no on gay rights in 1970, for example)

Re:Good. (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47331401)

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"!).

While I agree with your conclusion (That these take downs are bad) I dislike your argumentum ad metum reasoning.

By your reasoning it would "ok" if 'the innocent' had the ability to remove information about themselves from the Internet. Then you go on to describe groups of people you dislike that should not be allowed to remove information from the Internet, almost as punishment. The goals of the petitioners are irrelevant. We are all equal, weather you feel we're good or bad shouldn't affect your argument.

A better argument would be "To shed light on the unsavory, we should retain the Internet as a whole. If we allow the innocent to remove information about themselves, we also will have to allow the guilty."

Now there is no reason to disparage large groups of people.

Re:Good. (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 4 months ago | (#47331443)

True, but a lot of the requests come from politicians with dodgy pasts and paedophiles.

Yeah, but there are also millions of people who posted rather silly posts when drunk as a student, or other minor mistakes, who now have good careers and who want to get rid of some undesirable content about them on the internet.

Paedophiles, as well as any other criminal, have the right to make a new start after having served their sentence. The court determines a punishment, and often a treatment, and after that these people deserve the chance to make a new start (otherwise, the sentence is for life... and while you may agree with a life sentence, the court deliberately did not give a life sentence). Sometimes these people become politicians. If they served their sentence, and hopefully learned their mistake, then I have no problems with it.

Re:Good. (1)

mrlibertarian (1150979) | about 4 months ago | (#47332021)

The fact that your crime is not forgotten does not make it a life sentence. We all know that George Bush plead guilty to DUI when he was young, and yet, he was still able to find gainful employment (i.e. president of the US), because most people were willing to forgive him for something he did in his youth.

The fact is, the knowledge in my head is mine, and, assuming that I didn't sign a contract to keep it a secret, I have every right to make that information publicly available and searchable on a search engine. You, on the other hand, seem to believe that if my knowledge is about you, then we should act as if you own my knowledge, and thus, you should be able to override my freedom to disclose my knowledge about you.

The so-called "right to privacy" is not actually a right at all; it is simply what people call it when one person interferes with another's ability to share his or her memories and thoughts with the rest of the world.

Re:Good. (1)

Jiro (131519) | about 4 months ago | (#47332647)

George Bush was elected long enough ago that the Internet was much less influential back then.

He also is a high level politician connected to a large money-making machine. There are two categories of people who aren't affected much by out of context information on the Internet (or in the media): people with nothing to lose, and people who are so rich and powerful that even the Internet can't damage them that much.

Re:Good. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47332269)

Yeah, but there are also millions of people who posted rather silly posts when drunk as a student, or other minor mistakes, who now have good careers and who want to get rid of some undesirable content about them on the internet.

Unfortunately, in the real world, decisions have consequences-- and the dangers of allowing historical revisionism far far outweigh the marginal benefits of allowing a frat boy with a record of DUIs to get a "fresh start".

Re:Good. (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 months ago | (#47331651)

You always bang on about Muslims. You really should read more unbiased news outlets, as you clearly have been corrupted by forces just as evil as the evil Muslims you think exist. See how that works? Of course not - you're a hate-filled bigot.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331683)

Yep,
This "feature" will mostly be used by perverts and scientologists alike.I wish the removal list was made public so we all can make sure the forbidden information will never get lost.

Re:Good. (1)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 4 months ago | (#47331727)

Exactly. It's going to be abused by those in power to cover up issues they'd prefer to forget.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331737)

True, but a lot of the requests come from politicians with dodgy pasts and paedophiles.

Can you quantify the numbers of requests by politicians with dodghy pasts and paedophiles vs. the others or are you a Daily Mail reader?

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331771)

Fucking mudslimes.

Re:Good. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 4 months ago | (#47331847)

We lived perfectly well 20 years ago before Google existed. The world didn't explode, just because we didn't know everything that someone else didn't want us to know. We had muckrakers, aka investigative journalists, who went looking to unearth secrets that were broadly in the public interest. But there weren't enough journalists to cover everybody's little secrets, most people were safe from having their laundry aired, and the journos had to prioritise to try to cover the most important stuff that actually mattered.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331959)

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"!).

Yes, and I am sure the 5th is used a lot by criminals, and a lot of criminals went to jail later rather than sooner because of due process giving them a chance to appeal.

Re:Good. (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 4 months ago | (#47331217)

the only anecdotes are a lot of money or to hide yourself completely from the world

I'm not so sure. That seems like just antidotal evidence to me.

Re:Good. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47331383)

None of this has anything to do with data protection, as its all public information that Google has been told to remove - if it is untrue or unfair information that you are wanting expunged from the public record, then there are already processes in place for you to do so, for example libel or slander against untrue or unduly unfair information posted on a website.

Removing private data from websites has long been covered under EU data protection laws, but this new ruling expands the powers to data that is already public and, more importantly, will remain public - just that little harder to find. Its the equivalent of a librarian being told they cannot carry certain books, but instead of removing them from the library they remove them from the index instead. The books are still on the shelves, can still be found through browsing, but if you are searching the index for a title on a subject it won't show up.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331775)

I think there's a non sequitur at the core of your post. Data protection is about personal data (and who does what with it), not private data.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331449)

Protocol Nineteen Eighty-Four is now online. Please report anyone asking illegal questions immediately to the nearest Thought Control Police station. Remember, non-state issued truths are illegal. I repeat....Public knowledge is now illegal citizen unless sanctioned by the state.

And the world slides back into the dark ages once again thanks to useful idiots. "oh noes...my criminal history involving the abuse of underage children threatens my ability to strike again. Better censor everything everywhere all the time! The government will never abuse this power! Ever!"

   

Re:Good. (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 months ago | (#47331669)

If you'd read what this is all about, you'd know you're really far from the truth. Really, embarrassingly far away.

Re:Good. (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 4 months ago | (#47331691)

How? That sounds like a pretty apt description to me.

Anyway, the real problem with this ruling isn't that it's stupid (though it is), it's that it's unenforceable without building a Great Firewall of Europe, and when people realise that they're gonna be pissed off that their new "right" doesn't really exist or work.

It should go without saying why a GFE would be a disaster of unspeakable proportions. It effectively means partitioning Europe into its own internet. And I don't think that will happen just to defend this stupid "right" of people who don't like what appears when people search for them. They have a much better solution - either put better information about themselves online, or go after the people who uploaded the original information, and if neither of those appeal, then learn to deal with it.

Bad (3, Insightful)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 4 months ago | (#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. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#47331483)

the only anecdotes are a lot of money or to hide yourself completely from the world so nobody's judgment is relevant.

The only short stories are a lot of money or to hide???

I trust you really meant "antidotes"?

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331671)

And what about legitimate information about someone - i.e. nothing made up, etc - and people in the EU manage to have it removed?

it's BS and you know it.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331689)

Just like irony cures anemia.

Re:Good. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#47332077)

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

But I don't think this is "having their shit together" - I think this is good intentions gone wrong. I'm waiting for an industrious individual to set up a site which compares the US and EU versions of Google search terms and makes things that people are trying to hide more obvious. By singling out search results, they are making it clear which data is more important. It is rare to get human-curated data like this. It is similar to the way Google links to the DMCA requests in their search results - that is the first place a pirate should click if they are looking for buried treasure.

Re:Good. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47332249)

Theyre also pretty solid on the censorship and historical revision departments.

It is easy for any determined person to use the Internet to destroy the average person's reputation

You commit the action, you gain a reputation. Thats how the world works; society may impose a punitive judgement on you and you may serve your time, but theres no reason that people should magically forget what you did.

You want to know the easy way to avoid all of this? Dont do scummy things that will give yourself a bad reputation.

Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332813)

anecdote: noun, a short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person
antidote: noun, a medicine taken or given to counteract a particular poison

I just had to check - (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 months ago | (#47331155)

steve balmer chair throwing [google.co.uk] is still there.

Re:I just had to check - (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 4 months ago | (#47331247)

steve balmer chair throwing [google.co.uk] is still there.

Give them some time, removing all the references to Steve and chair throwing is going to keep a few dozen Indian IT people busy for months.

They hired Arnold Schwarzenegger? (1, Funny)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 4 months ago | (#47331167)

"You have just been erased."

Re:They hired Arnold Schwarzenegger? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 4 months ago | (#47331197)

"You have just been erased."

How does that /. Cliche go? In Soviet Europe Google erases YOU!

Re:They hired Arnold Schwarzenegger? (1)

oneandoneis2 (777721) | about 4 months ago | (#47331385)

No, no! Here come the Men In Black!

more censorship (1)

zaax (637433) | about 4 months ago | (#47331187)

Never trust a politician anyway.

The new "Google Blackmail" service (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 months ago | (#47331199)

So, what you're telling me is that from now on, people with a past that could hurt them if made public will call Google to tell them?

"Hi, Google, I'm a black mail victim. Here is a list of things someone could blackmail me with"

Re:The new "Google Blackmail" service (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 months ago | (#47331237)

"Hi, Google, I'm a black mail victim. Here is a list of things someone could blackmail me with"

Surely its the other way round - the one way to guarantee that you won't be blackmailed over something is full public disclosure. Nobody's going to blackmail Graham Norton by threatening to reveal he's gay - but the quiet bloke who keeps it secret on the other hand might just pay.

Re:The new "Google Blackmail" service (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 4 months ago | (#47331431)

The quiet bloke may have a legitimate reason. His neighbors may be bigoted to the extent that he may not survive the year if he comes out of the closet.
(While that is an effective method to get those bigoted idiots in jail, I would not consider it a valuable one.)

Full disclosure is not always the answer.

Re:The new "Google Blackmail" service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331749)

So, what you're telling me is that from now on, people with a past that could hurt them if made public will call Google to tell them?

"Hi, Google, I'm a black mail victim. Here is a list of things someone could blackmail me with"

Nope.

1) They do not apply to Google. Google is not legally obliged to remove any random shit from their searches on request from a member of the public.

2) All information is not eligible.

3) You are deliberately misunderstanding so you can look outraged, because nobody is actually that stupid.

Yes I saw that with "Erich Spangenberg" (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331229)

That's interesting: I was goggling for "Erich Spangenberg" who is what is known to us technical people as a patent troll and at the bottom of page 1 of the google links I see,

"Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe. Learn more"

That's the first time I've seen that message. Sounds like someone is doing reputation management.

Re:Yes I saw that with "Erich Spangenberg" (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47331465)

"Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe. Learn more"

That's the first time I've seen that message. Sounds like someone is doing reputation management.

Duhh... I am in Finland and for my Google searches I get that message for tons of famous people, including musicians, athletes, politicians, etc. Not sure if any conclusions can be made of it.

Re:Yes I saw that with "Erich Spangenberg" (1)

u38cg (607297) | about 4 months ago | (#47331673)

I see it using the .co.uk, but not the .com.

Re:Yes I saw that with "Erich Spangenberg" (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 4 months ago | (#47331697)

Google was originally going to show that message only on pages that had results removed. But that would make too much sense so the EU banned it, because then you'd know someone was trying to hide something! So now they just put that message on every query that contains a name.

After the cookie law that broke my browser settings by displaying a stupid nag on every website I visit, I thought the EU couldn't fuck over internet users even more, but yup they found a way!

Fuck them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331251)

www.google.com/ncr bypasses this censorship and is now my new default search engine.

Re:Fuck them (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 4 months ago | (#47331297)

"www.google.com/ncr bypasses this censorship and is now my new default search engine."

It has been mine for years! I'd like to have other sites like the Huffingtonpost etc have some of the same.

I change proxies every couple of minutes when surfing an it's annoying that I have to select a US one to read US news on many sites instead of Quebecois, French or German ones getting served automatically.

If I wanted those Id' use .de or .fr

ChillingfEffects.org (1)

RockoW (883785) | about 4 months ago | (#47331535)

How long will pass to have a chilling effect.org like for this types of requests? It will be cool to check what people want to hide.

website to fastern the process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331541)

forget.me has more user friendly version of the form you have to submit to google for search results removal. In case anyone wanted to use it.

Re:website to fastern the process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331695)

Eeh...when I want to remove sensitive data about myself, I'd rather not submit the request through some third-party service.

you know what would be funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331557)

If they published a list of the removed links. I realize they probably can't, but funny nonetheless.

Google's appropriate plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331559)

Step 1) Remove all references to this ruling, and anything that tells how to invoke it,
2) ???
3) Laugh at the EU all the way to the bank.

Re:Google's appropriate plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332353)

Don't worry. When the buzz cools down, I bet this service will be a tiny link buried somewhere deep in their support pages, without almost anyone remembering it.

Surprised by the internet's response. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331575)

I'm really surprised by the internet's response. I would have thought that the internet would have slammed google with fake requests highlighting how stupid this rule is. This rule only protects people who's information can't be scrubbed from websites, so it's all true. And while I the rule is stupid, and I was hoping that the internet would crush it, what I really was looking for was the top 10 list of funniest addresses that Adolf Hitler take down requests came from.

Re: Surprised by the internet's response. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331725)

Why surprised? People grow up, they learn the concept of futility and a fight for a free internet is futile. It's a lost cause. The Old Guard has won. The genie is crawling back into the bottle. Time to let go.

Remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331645)

I can picture the conversation with my grandkids now:

"Yes son, I remember when I was younger we used to have Search Engines that would let you find any information you wanted, for free, right at your fingertips! Of course nowadays you only get marketing propaganda - oh, for the good old days!"

Precision, recall, adversarial threats? (1)

raddan (519638) | about 4 months ago | (#47331647)

My concern is how Google handles removing things accurately. This isn't the white pages-- there isn't some person assembling these indices. They've generated by learning algorithms, and those algorithms themselves misclassify information. So how do you get all of your references removed without inflicting collateral damage? What about people with the same name? Furthermore, how does Google know that requests are legitimate? You can imagine political candidates requesting that Google remove their opponents.

Whatever algorithm Google is using to do this, I think its details are in the public interest. I'd like to see them publish its details.

Speed (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 4 months ago | (#47331711)

(...) though only a small number of the initial wave of takedown requests has so far been processed.

Typical. They use the fastest algorithms to show search results, but when it comes to takedown requests, they just seem to do stuff when it suits them.
I hope things will improve, though classical capitalism-theory predicts they will not.

Hilarious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331793)

I was looking through some old pictures, and I found an old fake name I came up with for something. (literally just a few hours ago)

I went to google it for fun, had to click "did you mean blah blah", and then I found at the bottom that some results were hidden by this.
Am I about to get spooked? OH NO.

it's time for someone to create a search engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47331953)

one that actually indexes the internet

Business Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332363)

In order to implement website filtering, Google (and Yahoo and Bing and so forth) must maintain a database of names and webpages that are not to be displayed with those names. That database might be very valuable credit agencies, private investigators, blackmailers, etc.

Here are two ways to obtain that database:

(1) Create a spider that crawls the entire web. You do not need a datacenter for this since you do not have to store the results. Instead, for each page visited, simply do a Google search for all names seen on that page and only remember the page if the search result from Google do not return the page you just crawled. If Google tries to block all of your searches, the develop a fun game that is a free download and that does an occasional search on your behalf as "payment" and get millions of people to download and use that game.

(2) Bribe a Google engineer to sell you the database

So, one unintended consequence of the new-found "right to be forgotten" is the creation of a centralized database of reputation-damaging information. That information was formerly difficult to obtain because it was diffuse. But now it will become centralized and filtered and conveniently packaged, making it much more useful to nefarious agents.

I wonder if the right-to-be-forgotten advocates have really thought this whole thing through?

Citizen (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#47332371)

I assume US citizens can still find this stuff in searches.

This is unacceptable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47332389)

We should never allow anybody to censor the internet in any way whatsoever. I surely hope this will give great incentive to build a workaround. The right to speak, post, whatever, must be held sacrosanct. Fuck any and all people who would censor! We must make such laws completely unenforceable. Their singular purpose is to protect authority and privilege.

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