Judgement Text: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&doc...
Even if Google went ahead and deleted every link to every story about her today, she would have a new million of articles about her tomorrow (Most likely about the fact that search engines doesn't give any Britney Spears results anymore)
How does this law affect celebrities? Are they considered in the public eye and unprotected? Or are they persons, as well?
Can anyone clarify?
Perhaps Britney Spears is a bad example, as she is a US citizen. What about Till Lindemann, lead vocal of the German Metal band, Rammstein?
"Information made public by the subject" is exempt, even if the subject regrets that disclosure.
There's also exemptions for news reporting and other purposes: http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/the_guid...
(Those references are to UK law, but this area of law is part of EU harmonisation and should therefore be basically the same in most EU countries)
... Isn't that pretty much the whole internet?
And, importantly, browsing history is not considered public. It's actually PII with the right machine learning.
Or does this law makes it so corporations have to delete everything they have on you?
The answer is potentially yes, if you're handling people's information then they have a right to (a) correct it and (b) delete it. You can't just maintain dossiers on people forever without their consent. However, it may be exempt if it's administratively necessary to keep.
(Really you have to look in the caselaw which is harder to find)
Public information isn't something established by nature, it's something created by statute.
Most virals are fabricated though, which is a pity because 'viral' used to be a mark of excellence. Now it just stand for 'was marketed with enough initial push to overcome the activation energy'.
Good luck with that.
It got so bad in the UK that the US passed a law declaring UK libel judgements unenforcable in the US ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPEECH_Act ). UK libel law has recently improved very slightly, although not in Northern Ireland.
Assuming there is a libel element tho (mentioned above in connection with UK law), what about the report of the case where libel was found? That's news, correct?
Well, maybe it's only the libelous statements that must be removed when liability is found - then the public would have incomplete reports of judicial actions. Isn't that a public interest weighing against privacy?
Sure, but that is most definitely not libel.
The reason I ask about email is that if I use gmail are not some search results I do going to check my mail or is the act of my searching my main in google going to be called out next?
An example scenario: Alice is a victim of a crime, reports the crime and Bob is arrested and goes on trial. Bob pleads not guilty and Alice participates in the trial as a witness. Bob is sentenced, the court record is made. The Daily News (fictional paper) reports on the court records of the day and has a reporter who attends the more interesting cases, and mentions Bob's sentence and gives some of Alice's statements as quotes.
In that scenario, the court record should always be a matter of public record, a statement of fact. The newspaper certainly has the right to access public record and to make a news story of the set of facts that are in the public record.
But, here starts the problems... Alice applies for a job and the employer Googles her name and comes across the news article. There are many types of crimes in which the public have great difficulty accepting a victim is a victim. For example, rape. It isn't too much of a stretch to say that the culture of victim blaming means that a matter of public record has just had the effect of defaming Alice.
Alice as a victim is never given the opportunity to move on with her life when every person that ever searches for her will find the story very quickly. She has been sentenced too by participating in the justice system, which is an open book.
The newspaper, just as in this case, will argue this is public record and cannot be silenced. Sure, I agree... but that doesn't mean that it's in the victims interest that the information be extraordinarily easy to find.
And Google are a better place in which to attempt to stop the information being found, given that they (and only 1 or 2 other search engines) cover the vast majority of searches made about someone.
Alice certainly does have the right to make information that she didn't explicitly choose to make public and that can cause her harm not be found so easily, even when that information is a matter of fact and public record.
She has the right to not be found (by that method - Google).
PS: I know a girl experiencing almost exactly that scenario, who cannot get a news story off of the front page results for her name. This isn't even a stretch scenario. The local newspaper just hasn't bothered responding to requests.
But why is her interest in privacy sufficient to create a right protected by the law? What about the conflicting interests--including existing legal rights--of others to learn about and to publish that information? What concerns me the most is the unimaginably fraught task of administrating these rights. The EU Court suggested a highly problematic standard: data that is "inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant" must be deleted upon request. Who decides what is adequate and relevant? Relevant to whom, and for what? Adequate for what? Is relevance now the standard for what information can exist online? Who is the arbiter of relevance?
And how is this administered as a technical matter? Does Google delete the entire article, or just redact the sensitive information? What if there is other important information in that same article/site/page? Does the public now lose access to the entire article, which surely contains other useful information?
This policy seems extremely ill-advised.
No new right has been created.
The ruling clarifies the overlap between existing laws.
The right to privacy is already there as a fundamental right within EU law. The ruling is pretty clear that data processing must respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of a person, specifically including privacy.
The ruling states that whilst Google had the right to process the data at the point in time in which it did so, it no longer had the right at a later point in time.
The record of fact remains as a historical document, but the ruling is very narrow and says that the data processing of those facts (displaying of search results) may, at a later date, be in conflict with a persons fundamental rights. At such a point in time, the data processing isn't permitted.
As with most things regarding the EU, if you sit down and read it a lot of it is fairly dull, pragmatic and reasonable.
Reading the opinion does not allay my concerns about the meaning of this opinion and the scope of its consequences. It is only "pragmatic and reasonable" to the extent that you agree with the policy underlying the opinion, which I certainly do not.
Taken at face-value, it would seem that the EU is effectively denuding the internet of its power for disseminating knowledge quickly and cheaply, and thereby democratizing the processes of determining truth. The court has approved a pernicious form of content restrictions that will be based on the utterly toothless (not to mention absurdly subjective) standard of "relevance," and driven by individuals whose interests are contrary to the public interest in information.
Like I said before: relevance to what? The fact that this opinion is issued in a case where the party objected to a record of his previous foreclosure--a fact with undeniable relevance to, e.g., future lenders or business partners or anyone else who needs to know someone's credit history--indicates just how high the standard for relevance will be.
In my view, giving government (or any powerful corporation or individual) the power to curate the information available to citizens is one of the greatest threats to a vibrant, functioning democracy. We should be extremely wary of any efforts by the government to be the arbiter of truth, and while I don't know enough about the case or EU law to predict how this will work in practice (in fairness to the EU, they very well could administrate this with considerable restraint), I think we should be wary of this opinion as well.
In this case we have laws about privacy (human rights, foundation of democracy) vs laws about freedom of expression (press, transparency).
Where there is an overlap the top courts must determine which one is more important. In this case they determined that privacy is more important, in a way that didn't remove the factual record but limited data processing so that both things could be preserved and protected.
I do agree with that, even though I probably share the opinion everyone else seems to have that transparency and freedom of press is also really really important. But for me, I personally think without privacy you cannot have democracy, which in turn serves to protect openness. And that does mean that there is this conundrum built-in to democracy, as the very foundation is built on not being fully transparent and what if that's what the people are asking for.
The costs and abuse inherent in all humans being able to force privacy takedowns are beyond colossal. How on earth can a search company afford to provide human judgement for each request? If humans don't arbitrate requests, how is anyone going to know that material was removed for bad reasons?
I would worry that this law would create problems, but in my opinion it will be proven unenforceable. Seriously, what is Google supposed to do with 100,000,000 people's personal lists of takedown requests?
If anyone can see a way this could actually be done economically I would like to hear it.
Because for thousands of years of civilization, the possibility of not being constantly publicly reminded of one's past, even if it was a crime he was found guilty of decades ago or some dumb or embarrasing thing he once said, was one of the most humane things.
We shouldn't abolish that freedom to be forgotten, just because machines enables us to abolish it. Technology should be a tool, like in optimistic sci-fi, not a master, like in dystopias.
But this isn't a freedom with a long-standing history. Far from representing a break with history, this tradition--wherein reputations are sticky and inescapable--is consistent with how human societies lived for thousands of years. Until relatively recently (~100 years ago), the vast majority of people lived in the same town for their entire lives, and there was a collective remembrance of their character. Everybody knew everybody's business, and preserved it through gossip. At least partly out of necessity, our cultures evolved significant traditions of society-wide shaming; stealing an apple could be punished by public shaming in the stocks in the town square. Social acceptance and even livelihood was based on your character, and the punishment for even minor moral failures was severe.
I submit that reputations were only escapable in a meaningful way for maybe the past 75-100 years, when our cultures (at least, industrialized cultures) became increasingly mobile: people left home to pursue education on the other side of the country, to begin careers and new lives in new cities without a trace of their old lives and reputations. This ability to escape your past and reinvent yourself was a brief aberration. The size of our communities exploded in the last 15 years as the internet expanded, and it seems not that different from when we lived in teeny communities and everyone knew our business.
There isn't and never has been a statute of limitations for dumb and embarrassing things. Whether to create one now is a normative question, and regardless of how you come down on that, I just don't think you can justify robust privacy protections--particularly at the expense of transparency--based on supposed historical respect for privacy.
I'm not so sure about that. For thousands of years you could go to another village, city or country and escape your past completely. With technology like Google this is not possible. And people you didn't know didn't have any way to know your face, unlike now with photographs and videos available.
OTOH, yes, in some small village your reputation stayed with you. But:
a) That reputation was built on mostly serious stuff people would remember about you -- perhaps an adultery, that you were a drinker, that your father was a thief etc. They didn't have a permanent record of every BS you said or done, e.g stuff you casually said when you were 14 or some misguided act you did at some obscure place at 23.
b) That reputation was mostly based on heresay. Not hard evidence, like photos, videos, profiles, etc. It was softer, and much less encompassing. And people not directly present when you did something, only heard about it from others, with less important stuff just getting forgotten naturally.
c) People could (and did all the time) change residence to escape an ill reputation.
I don't disagree with you, I'm saying it's rarely as simple as just banning X, once technology makes X possible.
Who pays for the immense amount of arbitration necessary to allow a billion internet citizens to file takedown requests while not essentially giving every politician, criminal and bozo the right to erase information they don't like about themselves?
The record can exist and it might be a breach of someone's fundamental right to privacy to make that record available via data processing.
The ruling did not state that the record will not cease to exist or would not be accessible, but that data processing of the information could be a breach of the person's right to privacy.
Another example: Let's say Bob actually only did commit a very minor crime. In the EU the ability to rehabilitate is protected by law. Only certain government departments have the right to access certain classes of crimes on a criminal record after n years.
If you were to make a database of court judgements (nearly all of which are a public record of fact), and make available Bob's criminal record after n years had passed. You would definitely be in breach of the law.
This has existed in law for a long time and isn't completely illogical.
Read the ruling, it acknowledges records of fact and states that the right to process those records doesn't trump the fundamental rights.
It's why they're called fundamental rights and data processing isn't on that list of fundamental rights.
Google, as a search engine, performs data processing. That it holds the record wasn't touched by the ruling, but the press has mentioned "removed" when actually it is "don't data process" which has the effect of ensuring the record doesn't appear on a results page, but does not actually remove the record from existence.
Wikipedia says that the definition of processing according to the directive is: "any operation or set of operations which is performed upon personal data, whether or not by automatic means, such as collection, recording, organization, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, blocking, erasure or destruction;"
Indexing is obvious. A library's internal index system does data processing. If it indexes it's own collection, it would appear to be subject to this ruling, so that a person could demand that they are removed from the library's index systems, while still remaining in the archive.
What about machine translation? That seems like retrieval and adaption. Do all generic translators have to have provisions for privacy?
Browsers do retrieval to render pages. Do browsers need a list of verboten web pages that they refuse to render?
Actually it makes perfect sense. Making it difficult adds a barrier. You don't have to make it impossible to prevent something from happening. Sure, you might not stop the most determined people, but you'll stop millions of cases by just making it harder.
It's not black or white -- as a lot of security people use to think for similar things like "security by obscurity" etc. Most of the time your adversary is not some highly capable entity, but just common folks who'd give up at the first barrier.
In the EU, Bob is dealt with by various laws that cover the rehabilitation of offenders.
A petty crime is essentially wiped from public record after some period of time, and a major crime isn't.
Bob's rights depends on what he is convicted of, if he is convicted at all. And in the case of a sex-crime or violent crime, then there are further laws that cover that.
It depends what Bob did, and importantly whether he was convicted of it.
The ruling doesn't conflict with existing law, it clarifies and extends existing law.
I wish the court would grant me the right to fly as well, but it's beyond their power. I guess they just need a few more decades for the judges to die off and for the new old men to have a better intuitive understanding of the way the digital world works.
I think you underestimate the power of search engines - simply having Bing/Google remove a reference to something, will eliminate it from view for 99%+ of the population. It's a lot more than a middling measure.
I'm not saying I agree with this decision - I'm on the fence due to the concerns about freedom of speech - but I find that argument unpersuasive.
When a CEO could go to prison for something, then the organization will adapt accordingly.
Therein lies the problem. Courts can play whack-a-mole all day, but it's very hard to suppress something on the Internet. The only sensible thing to do is go after the original publisher and then Google takes care of itself. This idea of forcing takedown on search engines is treating the symptom not the disease.
Also - it's much, much, much easier to send a request to "De-Index" to two, large, organized, law-abiding organizations (Google/Microsoft) - than it would be to try and remove content from umpteen million various websites - that would be whack-a-mole.
By your logic, it's a good thing for the courts to look out for individuals' rights not to be murdered in their homes, but they are overestimating the power of the law by making murdering people in their homes a crime.
You're mistaking the internet (a human construct) for the laws of physics (gravity, your point about the right to fly).
- Will that affect the work of archive.org and the wayback machine?
- Is it okay for a politician to "erase" something he/she said 10 years ago?
We run a webshop and sometimes a get customer that demands that we delete all their information. They are entitled to make that demand, but at the same time we're required to store the same information for at least two year, in order to be able to handle returns, and maybe five years due to accounting.
I really do applaud the court for their intentions, but it leaves a lot of unanswered questions and challenges. In our case we would have to make serious changes to our ERP/CRM systems, it currently do not allow deletion of data, because that would be bad for accounting. Also: Can I deny you warrenty because you requested that I delete all data regarding your purchase and person?
* Forget which phone number they used.
* Switch to a email provider and don't transfer emails.
* Delete email 5 seconds after receiving it.
* Enter wrong email address, twice.
* Forget where they live... ?
* Forget order number.
* Give you an order number for a different webshop.
* Call and tell you that you're spamming ( i.e. sending an order confirmation )
Yes, you and I will save an email for two years, the average customer won't.
Still, I'm loving the idea.
I think they could perhaps argue that they need some information and some publications to run their business to its fullest potential.
I'm not sure they could prove that losing mrweasel's data is going to cause them any significant harm as a business, though.
It is important not to delete the order data, but to anonymize the user data. Your shop software should be able to handle this. Otherwise, I would use another product ;)
Anonymize the data to the extent that the customer is no longer recognizable as the user, but you still have your information for accounting purposes.
Although I admit I don't know what sort of policy archive.org uses.
Social Networks and Search Engines are not sources of administrative data. A CEO cannot bury that he was sued as the matter is a public record.
Should he be able to have that information removed from search engines who provide no context and social media accounts he owned? Absolutely.
You want to destroy someone's life forever. Everyone needs a chance to rehabilitate, whether or not they were guilty or successfully prosecuted or not.
Does it matter that this man wants to forget whatever shame this caused him?
I actually find it disgraceful that you have deliberately used his name in two of your comments. At the time of writing almost 10% of comments in this thread are from you.
What has happened to you to make you so broken and incapable of forgiveness?
I use his name because I'm tired of seeing well-heeled individuals throw their weight around in the court system. I use his name because he wishes to subvert public discourse. I use his name because he has chosen to make himself a public figure with his suit. Why should I respect someone who has chosen to disrespect the concepts of free speech, of open government, and of a fair society?
Are you comparing the resources of a single individual against that of Google? Is the guy a billionaire?
>Had he said nothing, I doubt anyone, even in his hometown would have cared all that much about the issue.
Well, it would've been present for anyone to google. How much faith do you have in your capacity to defend well page-ranked libellous information against yourself? Part of rehabilitation is also not being permanently associated with your mistakes.
Private financial information does not belong online.
Do you believe, for example, your bank should have the legal right to publish the historical accounts of all of its customers tomorrow? Should that be protected by the right to free speech?
Almost nobody would think that was acceptable, because private information is private. Data Protection of private data is a legal idea that we generally accept in Europe, even if we don't do a good job of enforcing it (as perhaps we haven't here).
You should also have a right to legal access that would allow you to ensure your legal rights were upheld without worrying about the cost, but that is a separate issue which is really nothing to do with this guy.
On the other hand, it will never be possible for all such people to cover-up all such information about them. So the real solution (a societal recognition that no one is perfect) is still required.
If anything it would be easier for the truly crooked to pass off as "reformed".
Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting. If anything, we should be pulling for a system for undesired past information to be easily correlated with subsequent information (an ability to comment on a search result, perhaps?)... Not a world where we try and erase or bury the past. To do so is to damage truth itself.
We should address the problem of partial correlation with better correlation, not less correlation.
This notion that it's right and proper for information to be theoretically available in some technical sense, but it's bad that it be actually findable and usable, is absurd.
Data for bankrupt individuals, disgraced corporate directors, criminal trials and legislation existed before Google - it existed in open repositories that anyone who had a valid reason could inspect. No license was required other than being a citizen.
Search engines provide no context because alongside credible and relevant information they will also display non-credible, libellous, inaccurate and harmful information.
If you can design a search engine that can filter for veracity then this law will not be required. Until then - it is.
This isn't about context or truth or people's feelings being hurt by bad things being said about them. This whole episode is just bizarre. There's a statement of fact about him, in a newspaper, and it comes up when you search his name. Apparently he did nothing else of note (except this court case) so what else should be displayed? Nothing? What's the point of a search engine that doesn't give you factually correct and relevant results?
Put in legal terms; it is better for 10 guilty men to go free than 1 innocent man be incarcerated.
You are fixated on Gonzalez and he is a footnote in the wider issue which you seem incapable of grasping. You wanted to find a search result that returns evidence of immoral or illegal behaviour.
That does not exonerate Google from indexing the multitude of libellous, false and damaging materials that it has.
By the same logic one should also provide a means for people to protest indexes and tables of content in published literature. Opening a prominent business publication's table of contents and seeing a headline "CEO sued" provides no context and social media accounts he owned. However, we would argue freedom of the press and that since it is a print publication its simply recording a matter of public record.
You've never been able to hide from your past, good or bad. If someone was motivated they could do the manual labor necessary to dig -- review publications, talk to relatives, visit past schools, talk to the local PD and such. Simply having Google erase its table of contents pointing to an article discussing past indiscretions doesn't make them go away or unrecoverable. What makes people uneasy is the relative ease at which Google et. al. make discovering past indiscretions, lawsuits, and other public information possible.
The two questions that really need answering are should the past be easily searchable -- the information itself will never go away -- and how should that past information color the future?
I look at the issue less conspiratorially than some of the other posters. Whenever the law is changed, a party somewhere, is always quick to claim the political elite will benefit.
In it's current guise I support the ability of people to have inaccurate information about their character removed from search rankings/indexing services.
It boils down to the oft-thorny issue of what is reasonable?
I do not think it is reasonable to have cases removed records. I do think it is reasonable to have published media that portrays an innocent party as guilty removed from publication.
I don't know how that is accomplished but this legislation seems to be moving in broadly the right direction.
I can see it being used to right more wrongs than vice versa but I am an optimist.
It would not be deleted from google.com So if you are in the EU and want unfiltered information just go to google.com.
Taking France as an example, a lot of content (An good example will be some old racist video of our actual primer minister, past corruption of the mayor of one of major cities, stupid tweets...) is going to be censored and removed from the internet. And this is going to happen. Don't ever think one minute, the first thousand of "forgottenness" will be for citizens and not for politics.
I think that's one of the stupidest backward law ever. Thanks for fucking up the internet.
More often many European countries would not prohibit public display of “personal data” such as name, home address etc. Not only concerning all crime victims and children, but often also court rulings while being public, are published in such way, that names and other personal data is removed.
So when you’d google a name of a person, public court ruling proclaiming foreclosure of his property would not appear in the search result, while some blog/news outlet could. The ruling only reacts to reality of modern day, that information doesn’t disappear. So while 50 years ago (or as today) the article about someone’s foreclosure would still be reachable in newspaper archives, library etc., but not via two seconds by googling. So if the right to privacy ought to be a real “human right” it needs to be effectively pursuable, so court seeks an approach when there is no reason to delete the newspaper article (it’s not fraudulent or slanderous”) but it’s digital trace via search engine interferes with one’s right to privacy.
I anticipate that EU, or individual countries will react by enacting/changing laws how to procedurally enforce that newly established right. How and when to file such request for removal of search result.
Just ick. Ick ick ick. More ill-thought-out "feel good" legislation like the cookie law.
All harassing publicly famous entities will achieve, is to make obtaining available information more difficult for regular people. While those with deeper pockets and better connections, will simply pay niche providers for deeper searches and indexing.
From a privacy POV, you would WANT this kind of White Hat demonstrations of where your privacy weak points are. That way, you are aware of them and can make accommodations. While third party services can spring up to address the most widespread concerns. Rather than show up for a job interview, and have the interviewer "know" something about you, that you have no idea is available to them at all.
"... the activity of a search engine consisting in finding information published or placed on the internet by third parties, indexing it automatically, storing it temporarily and, finally, making it available to internet users according to a particular order of preference must be classified as 'processing of personal data' within the meaning of Article 2(b) when that information contains personal data and, second, the operator of the search engine must be regarded as the 'controller' in respect of that processing, within the meaning of Article 2(d)."
Hopefully replying to requests will be sufficient. Otherwise, even simply the obligation to detect that there is something the law requires to be removed will be a new burden on search engines and any similar services.
The US may draw the line a little further towards the direction of freedom of the press and away from privacy etc. than Europe does, but it's not like it's an unqualified right on either side of the pond.
From the latter:
"First, neither article [8 (privacy) nor 10 (freedom of speech)] has as such precedence over the other. Secondly, where the values under the two articles are in conflict, an intense focus on the comparative importance of the specific rights being claimed in the individual case is necessary. Thirdly, the justifications for interfering with or restricting each right must be taken into account. Finally, the proportionality test must be applied to each."
If you want my prediction on what'd happen if "a scandal is uncovered regarding a political leader... [can they stop the press going public using EU data protection legislation]", I'd say: no. Like, that's not even close to the borderline. Data protection legislation isn't even relevant to press reporting current events, anyway - more relevant for a (UK) political leader would be better off trying to stop a story is defamation law, which is subject to a whole other set of controls and defences.
Let's take Kafka, for instance. He gave explicit instructions for his work to be burned after his death. His executor Max Brod ignored this request, and published them anyway. The result? Both "The Trial" and "The Castle" managed to see the light. This is a clear case of the public good being richer due to a non-permanent "right to be forgotten".
But then again, we also have James Joyce. His executor destroyed some personal letters, but some others survived. Thanks to that, we have some very dirty letters he sent someone. Reading those doesn't really teaches us anything about his works, but seriously casts him in a bad (or at least, unflattering) light.
So back to Kafka. There are still unpublished papers that should have been destroyed, but weren't, but at the same time haven't been published yet. So what if Kafka's remaining papers cast him in an equally bad light as Joyce? Is it okay for us to ignore his specific request for those papers to be destroyed?
I don't really know. I could imagine some kind of experts voting on that (the same way that we never managed to see Stever Irwin's death video), but it's an idea with many obvious flaws.
Google are famed for having virtually no way of contacting them, does it require the individual to jump through hoops to do so?
And no, not thinking of myself... but wondering just whether there are mechanisms available already to those who will now seek to exercise their right.
If there will be enough of these cases infrastructure for the legal representative to handle the cases will be put in place; but I didn't see any requirements for Google to offer a procedure for taking down personal info.
Is Google to remove the search results (the link) or just their cache?
I am not sure about Spain, but there are plenty of countries in today's world which have the flat / house selling price listed for the past 10 - 20 years.
... and I wonder how much of the work of a genius would have been lost forever if his wishes had been honored.
You should retort that it was John's mistake in the first place to lie and cheat, and that is not your fault, and that maybe he should be rightfully punished. However, we are all humans, and no one is perfect.
Very basically the "right to privacy" is the right to make errors and to not be judged for something you said or did twenty years ago.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, etc.
This whole thing seems kinda crazy to me, but we will see how it works out.
Do you really think information like this would have no influence on your life or that you wouldn't care?
I know far too little about this ruling to have an opinion of its impact, but I am not a free-speech absolutist because of cases like the above where lives are unjustly impacted long after publication.
The situation obviously really sucks for the guy in question, but is making that information hard to find really the fix? I doubt it - eventually someone would have discovered anyway, and then attempting to get it removed from search engines would merely "seal the deal" in the minds of some people. The problem is not access to information. It's that too many people in our society can't handle this new found power, to discover or read things people did long ago. Look at how people repeat things Mark Zuckerberg said a decade ago as if he couldn't possibly have changed since he was a university student. That's not a problem with search engines or the subjects: it's a problem with all of us.
It would be very easy for me as a white straight middle class guy to be OK with "eternal memory" since it is unlikely to do me much harm. However it doesn't exactly require a huge leap of imagination to think of all sorts of scenarios or groups of people who can't afford the same attitude.
Hence I am not jumping to condemnation before I learn more.
That's part of it, but there's plenty of things that I wouldn't class as errors that I could well want to keep out of the public domain, such as illness, working on a confidential project or looking for another job.
Don't they see that personal censorship is something good opposed to government censorship?
Note though, I'm not necessarily for or against this bill. It could be very useful fot private citizens but we should consider how public figures are effected as well.
What bill are you referring to? If you mean the EU data protection directive that this decision's interpreting, it's been law since 1995.
In this case the article in question was published by a newspaper, in fact due to legal requirement. So the law here is totally messed up. It says the data must be published, but must not be findable. A farce.
sure, I agree.
In this case I think the mistake was made by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs who didn't understand the consequences of publishing one person's sensitive information on the internet. In my utopia though, the newspaper would have asked (and forcefully obtained in this case thanks to the Ministry authority) permission to Mr Gonzalez to access his sensitive information, only for the amount of time required by the bidding process.
The legal requirement is for the information to be published (once) and then, in the normal course of events "forgotten" after a period of time.
It is not the publication that is a concern, it is the permanence of it, and the ease of access that the ruling deals with.
They did take some time, effort, skill and money to set up, but they did give far more control over what information was shared, and who had access to it.
It does seem like this is a matter of time, though. We managed to build the entire Internet as a system of systems that work together remarkably effectively despite no one authority having universal control of everything.
The main thing keeping sites like Facebook safe today is the critical mass of customers they have, and the fact that current sentiments (and the occasional multi-million dollar marketing effort) encourage newcomers to put their data "in the cloud" in return for not paying any money to store it and not having to worry about the technical details. There are certainly technically viable alternatives.
[Edit: I am a Scot]
This is IMHO highly unlikely in practice.
Succession/secession law regarding EU membership is untested, but the simplest suggestion is that rest-of-the-UK retains membership, and Scotland has to reapply as a "new" member. I think that's what you're saying. But, this is awkward and probably not legally correct because it treats the two newly formed countries differently.
This is also not in anyone's interest, except for perhaps Spain (Spanish politicians are pushing this solution because they are worried about Catalonia): it forces two countries to do the opposite of what their electorate would prefer.
For now, this is just a propaganda designed to frighten voters: some other arrangement would be made.
Wikipedia has a large amount of detail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_enlargement_of_the_Euro...
Given that much of England don't want to be in the EU perhaps the easiest thing would be that we adopt Spain's ideal approach but instead of England, Wales and NI remaining in and Scotland reapply, Scotland get the "existing" place and England, Wales and NI can reapply if they wish...
Edit: Englishman living in Scotland (for 7 years now with no intention of leaving whatever happens with independence).
The two most recent polls I'm aware of show a 3 point and 15 point lead respectively (both for rejecting independence) The low one comes from a polling company consistently showing the smallest leads, the high one from a company showing the largest leads. Looking at all polls somewhere in high single figures with wide error bars would probably be the safest assumption.
I'm not saying it won't happen but the suggestion that it's a small margin suggests it's more likely than it really is.
Slightly out of date (to end last month) polling data here: http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/scottish-independence-referendu...
Britain is simply an island.
Can you be specific about which legal cases you are in outrage over?
If you are talking about David Miranda then he was lucky that we treated him so leniently.
As a former military intelligence operator I wrote a piece on the detention: http://urbantimes.co/2013/11/the-david-miranda-detention-why...
We were exceptionally lenient and reasonable in our treatment of David Miranda, regardless of what the general populace think.
He was a foreign national, in possession of UK Top Secret documentation, held on a non-secure IT system, and he was not a journalist. Why would anybody in their right mind think we would allow a foreign national to waltz off with our material is beyond me.
Replace "David Miranda" with "Chinese Hacker" or "North Korean Diplomat" and ask whether the detention would have been lawful then.
“A Chinese computer hacker was arrested with 58,000 TOP SECRET files from the UK intelligence community. He was spoken to for 9 hours and released without charge. He is requesting the return of his computer.” The UK public would be up in arms if our police services released that individual back to his host nation.
You think you get a free pass for being the partner of Glenn Greenwald?
He was in possession of copies of UK Top Secret documentation. Given that other copies of the documents exist outside the UK and its legal jurisdiction, what exactly would be the point of detaining him?
Detaining was merely a means to removing the documents from his possession. Nothing more. Miranda was not intimidated and he also refused legal counsel.
However, let's take a less emotionally charged example.
A man breaks into your house - makes copies of all of your ID's, your bank records, passwords, logins, hard copies of your keys to your residence in a plasticine mould. Enough to considerably damage your financial, emotional and professional well being.
He also makes copies of anything regarding your family including schooling, medical, financial records and keys to whatever they own.
All of the material is then copied by a third party. Two copies now exist.
The police contact you and inform you that they can detain the one of the individuals with copies of your material but the other copies still remain at large in the real world.
By your logic, that man could neither be detained, questioned or have the copies removed from his possession.
As any serious penetration tester/corporate investigator will tell you. It does not matter how many copies of data exist, you have a legal responsibility to remove from circulation the copies that you can remove from circulation.
In your mind, once multiple copies of data exist then no further law enforcement action is required. Those involved in industrial espionage just voted for you en masse.
I assume that if I enter your place of work, copy all of the IP, pass the copies to a third party you now believe I am free to go and can keep the IP in my possession?
I didn't say they couldn't detain him. I asked what the point - the actual objective - was.
I think you have a valid point that reducing (by one) the number of copies of the document collection in circulation was a valid and rational action by the UK authorities - especially since it appears that Miranda was carrying a piece of paper with the encryption password written on it. But it's also an empty gesture given how quickly the documents could be re-copied. How many new copies could be created by others during the nine hours that he was in detention?
Your analogies with people breaking into houses or places of work are sophistry. They involve the commission of criminal acts against individuals. Miranda didn't break any UK laws. Neither did Snowden.
I don't consider my reasoning to be sophistry at all - your claim that Snowden/Miranda broke no laws is simply a sleight of hand to avoid the thrust of the argument.
Do you believe those in possession of copied IP, in contravention of legislation, deserve to be detained and have the IP removed from their possession?
To answer your question: I believe in the rule of law, so it would be the decision of a court as to whether some item in a person's possession should be taken from them.
The Facts of the Case
"He provided them with encrypted data which had been stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States. The data included UK intelligence material. Some of it formed the basis of articles in the Guardian on 6 and 7 June 2013 and on later dates. On 12 August 2013 the claimant travelled from Rio de Janeiro to Berlin in order to meet Laura Poitras. He was carrying encrypted material derived from the data obtained by Mr Snowden. He was to collect computer drives containing further such material. He was doing it in order to assist in the journalistic activity of Mr Greenwald"
The judgement was also handled-down six months after the event, so how can you claim that it means the UK authorities had to detain Miranda at the time?
 I've already said that I agree that his detention was valid (ie lawful).
Once the classified material had been confirmed, security operators were then legislatively bound to destroy or other render unusable the material in question.
The legislation which required all reasonable and necessary measures are contained within the Official Secrets Act 1989, the National Security Strategy, the Data Protection Act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 with detailed policy guidance promulgated to intelligence operators via HMG Information Assurance Notes (1/2 (SPF)) and, more importantly, HMG Information Assurance Note 5 and the Joint Services Publication 440 which governs counter-compromise measures.
Ultimate responsibility for HMG security policy lies with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Office. Departments and Agencies, via their Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives, must manage their security risks within the parameters set out in the framework, as endorsed by the Official Committee on Security (SO).
All HMG employees (including contractors) have a collective responsibility to ensure that government assets (information, personnel and physical) are protected in a proportionate manner from terrorist attack, and other illegal or malicious activity.
The loss or compromise of such Critically Important Assets would have a
severe, widespread impact on a national scale and Departments must work with the National Technical Authorities and the Cabinet Office to ensure they are afforded appropriate levels of protection.
Points to note
a. The judgement was handed down 6 months later in response to the challenge by David Miranda. There was never any doubt that Schedule 7 was applied correctly from the outset apart from by the Guardian, Greenwald and Miranda.
There's not a license (in freer countries) that you have to have to be a journalist. If someone is acting as a courier between two reporters, or between a reporter and a source, they're certainly acting as a journalist.
That would allow a Foreign Intelligence Agent, Thief or Fence to transit goods between two parties as long as both parties referred to themselves as journalists
I would love to see your legal argument that a courier is adopting the professional status of the those who is delivering or receiving from. If FedEx deliver medical records to your house, be sure to ask the courier to perform brain surgery.
But if a court can mandate something to be forgotten, what prevents the next case of mandating what could be altered.
Does an author have a right his bad books to be forgotten and to claim that he has only bestsellers?
Do I have a right to be forgotten about my previous to last disatrous project and only for the last one that was stellar.
Does Obama have a right healthcare.gov roll out to be forgotten?
Does Bill Clinton and Monica have that right too?
This is rewriting history.
Implying that there's a slippery slope to get from "I can control a company's use of information that's about me" to Winston Smith's job - controlling information about other people - is like saying that suicide being legal is a slippery slope to murder being legal. After all, it's just a difference between me doing it to myself and me doing it to other people, right?
> But if a court can mandate something to be forgotten, what prevents the next case of mandating what could be altered.
You're forgetting the context of this, which is data protection legislation. The court isn't "mandating something to be forgotten". It's letting someone enforce a right to object to a company processing data relating to them.
Also, anything critical of the EU will get you downvoted into oblivion on HN.
I sincerely hope that the upcoming EU elections will open people's eyes to the waning support for the EU's faux democracy. (In the Netherlands there is currently a large crowdsourcing initiative being set up to counteract the EU's censorship of the election results. Although most voters are likely to simply boycott these fake elections.)
Consider that the EU was A-OK with all personal financial data being shipped to the US Treasury department, despite that it clearly violated basically every privacy law on the books.
Now consider that EU countries are all falling over themselves to agree to FATCA, despite that it also violates privacy laws which say banks aren't allowed to send client data abroad. Their "solution" is that instead of banks directly sending data to the USA, first it gets sent to the local government, and then the local government sends it to the USA. See, because governments don't have to follow their own laws. Great, isn't it.
So far the EU's "standing up for the citizen" amounts to selling everyone out to the Americans, and breaking the setting in my browser that says I don't want to be bugged every time a site sets a cookie. They broke my browser! And .... now this. The EU needs to get the hell away from the internet before they screw it up even more ....
While there certainly is a problem in how democratic the EU is, they are steadily working on solving this problem.
It’s one or two steps of indirection (and you could make a decent argument that two steps of indirection are too many), but that doesn’t make it undemocratic.
This indirection isn’t uncommon in democratic systems. For example, the German chancellor is only voted into office indirectly by parliament. She can then appoint any ministers she wants, no confirmation needed by anyone. No one would call Germany undemocratic.
The EU commission just works similarly, only that in its case elected governments are making the appointments, though they have to additionally be confirmed by the EU parliament.
I’m all for structuring it differently, but to call it undemocratic is just wrong. Its structure is in many ways problematic, but that’s nothing that can’t be fixed.
Yes, the parliament should get the right to initiate laws, of course. But your look on this is a bit too weird.
What's the point of having 750 MEPs if they can only approve sanitised legislation?
I want it.