Saturday, July 05, 2014

"Right to be forgotten" ruling starts to get implemented in Europe, with ridiculous outcomes; attention on former Merrill Lynch executive Stan O'Neal

Recently, the supreme court in the European Union ruled that search engines could be required to remove links to search results from older postings by individuals, according to the “right to be forgotten” idea, and Google has started doing this with links visible from its European sites.  This does not affect searches in the United States.  The main story concerned the removal of links of former Merrill Lynch executive Stan O’Neal.  Business Insider has a typical story here. There are some reports to the effect that the request came from someone who had commented on one or more of the stories rather than O’Neal.  In any case, the end result seems to be calling more attention to O’Neal’s past, not less.
The Guardian reports that it has been required to remove at least six other items by others not related to the O’Neal mess, in a story here. Guardian gives examples of how US searches work compared to European with former Scottish Premier League referee Dougle McDonald.  The original articles still appear in Europe, but they are harder for novices (or perhaps future employers) to find.   

Robert Preston of the BBC asks why he has been cast into oblivion as a journalist (a bit of hyperbole), .here 
Note that there is a very recent YouTube video that reports that Google has restored the links in Europe on the referee but not on McNeal.  The details on this matter could change rapidly.

(Video was removed; replacement)

Google has received over 70000 requests in Europe.
The New Republic had published a prospective article on the dangers of the “right to be forgotten” concept back in 2012, by Jeffrey Rosen, “A grave new threat to free speech from Europe,” here.  Note the wording of the title.  The insinuation is that European law could eventually compromise free speech and broadcast in the US.  Already, there is a ruling from a Canadian provincial court that attempts to implement itself worldwide.  

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