Thursday, August 13, 2015

France wants the ability to enforce "right to be forgotten" for its citizens worldwide, even in the US

EWeek has a slide show on the EU’s “Right to be Forgotten” (similar to a Vox Card Stack), link, with a short article by Don Risinger, here.
The slides point out that a request to be removed from a search engine result is country-specific, but would apply to all major search engines.  However, there is a movement at least within France to have all search-result requests for French citizens, when found valid, honored around the world.  

Likewise, some trade groups want the right to be extended within the US, but that is not seen as particularly likely soon.

Michael Douglas (from the UK, not the movie actor) in this Ted Talk mentions “digital eternity”. He thinks it is difficult to implement “the right to be forgotten”.  It is a “domestic solution” to a “global problem”.

Most comments show concern mainly about advertisers “stalking” people or about very old criminal or civil complaints (which may not even have resulted in criminal conviction or civil loss) from remaining easy to find.  However, mere mention of someone with a unique enough name and his being found by a search engine has been known to create some issues for some people, in the “online reputation” context.

The law still does not force individual websites to take material down.  But imagine the complexities that could occur if it did.  A particular site might become known as a source of forgettable information on people and be individually searchable.  On up to three occasions, I have removed names of individuals (in one case an entire article) from legacy sites when the circumstances of the request were unusual enough (and unlikely to recur).

Recently, Google advised Blogger users of privacy laws in Europe, and posts an additional succinct privacy notice for Blogger postings when brought up with most European country TLD’s.
I received an email notification of this article late morning today,

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