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EU Court Backs Users' 'Right to be Forgotten' on Google
Whitey




msg:4670658
 8:37 am on May 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

A top EU court has ruled Google must amend some search results at the request of ordinary people in a test of the so-called "right to be forgotten".
[bbc.com...]

Breaking news at this stage >> More to come

 

Donna




msg:4671086
 5:25 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Of course G could simply downgrade old pages in the SERPS which would penalise informational sites where the published data doesn't change.



BINGO ! Been saying this since 2004

Samizdata




msg:4671087
 5:38 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

GOOGLE HAD NO RIGHT TO SPREAD THE NEWS FURTHER

Everyone had the right to spread publicly available information.

Everyone except Google still has.

despite the citizen objecting to this

Senor Gonzalez was perfectly happy to be interviewed by The Guardian yesterday.

It is one of countless media outlets reporting that "his house had been auctioned to recover his social security debts".

This wording is far more explicit than anything on the "offending" pages.

And he cannot prevent Google from ranking such news reports.

He has done more to "spread the news" than Google ever did.

Any claim that he is protecting his privacy is risible.

...

londrum




msg:4671088
 5:52 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

imagine this though: what if a national newspaper kept printing the same old story over and over again, every single day. And it was on the TV news too — every time he switched it on. Would the guy have cause to complain then? He probably would. What google is doing is not a lot different. Every time he searches for his name, there it is, staring him in the face. Google might not be responsible for the original article, but their "readership" is in the millions and millions, and every single one of them is looking at it (potentially).

incrediBILL




msg:4671096
 6:43 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

People just don't like having information about themselves show up alongside their name in search results, esp. negative information.

Does that mean we don't have the right to find them just because they don't want to be found?

If it was a privacy issue it wouldn't be in court documents, which are public fodder, thus why they appear in the press, then the search engine.

Next thing you know they'll be suing libraries because something shows up in a card catalog!

Where's it all going to end?

I know, pay your bills and don't end up in the press.

Samizdata




msg:4671099
 6:53 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Every time he searches for his name, there it is, staring him in the face.

For the past 16 years he was probably the only person on Earth to search for his name.

Now it is in every news outlet in the western world and rather more people will be doing it.

Who brought that about?

Google might not be responsible for the original article, but their "readership" is in the millions and millions, and every single one of them is looking at it

I doubt that anybody has looked at "the original article".

Because there wasn't one.

...

jay5r




msg:4671104
 8:15 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Let's just say that taking down information like that is a good thing. (I'm sure there's some case where it is a good thing.) Well, the proper way to do it is to put the onus on the site with the information. In this case the guy should go to the newspaper and request the page be taken down or a noindex meta tag put on the page.

Now if you want to split hairs and say the page should be indexed for certain contexts and not others - well, that's just absurd. Just edit the offending information out of the page or live with it as-is.

heisje - there are accepted industry standards here. If you put a website up, make it publicly available, and fail to use robots.txt or a robots meta tag to control how the information is used - then it's your fault, not Google's (IMHO).

heisje




msg:4671112
 9:04 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

A top EU court has ruled Google must amend some search results at the request of ordinary people in a test of the so-called "right to be forgotten".

The European Union Court of Justice said links to "irrelevant" and outdated data should be erased on request.


RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN

This *does* include the source material (nobody has said otherwise, to the best of my knowledge) but *also* any links to it while such source material is still out there.

There will be mountain-loads of malicious professional spin forthcoming out there *deliberately obscuring* the fact that this only refers to the RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN of currently irrelevant & outdated (NO MORE VALID) personal data, both at source as well as search engine links, when the private citizen has expressed in writing his will of deletion.

I will not be surprised to see a deep division of attitude on this between europeans and americans, as is the case with many other cultural and political matters; this divide is already official at the top - total inaction on violated liberties on the part of american authorities (where to start from? a whole laundry list) and overdue but enlightened action by the EU authorities.

P.S: For all of you Americans reading this, a clarification: I personally consider America to be great, in many, many respects, and for many, many reasons (a whole laundry list) however in some respects it is painfully & surprisingly backward, and hope this will gradually change, for the benefit of everybody on this earth.

.

incrediBILL




msg:4671113
 9:10 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

when the private citizen has expressed in writing his will of deletion


Yes, everyone would love to just erase history like it didn't exist.

I'm sure Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, etc. would LOVE to "be forgotten" - not that I'm comparing him to them, but at what point do you draw the line of who should be forgotten and who shouldn't?

How about if Monica Lewinksky said she wanted to be forgotten over that stain on her career?

History is history and funny as it may seem, just removing it from ONE search engine doesn't mean it didn't happen and doesn't mean it won't show up somewhere else, internet archive, etc.

Plus, what if it's in a Russian or Chinese search engine? They will most likely scoff at those requests.

The best way to "be forgotten" is to be off the grid and not get recorded in the first place and good luck with that!

Samizdata




msg:4671114
 9:24 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

In this case the guy should go to the newspaper and request the page be taken down or a noindex meta tag put on the page.

He did, and the newspaper refused.

The Spanish data protection agency then rejected his complaint against the newspaper.

The newspaper was thus not a party to the Google court case and was unaffected by it.

-

Many of the press reports on the Google court case are fundamentally inaccurate.

In particular, there was never any article written about Senor Gonzalez.

And the "right to be forgotten" does not apply to the original publications.

This *does* include the source material (nobody has said otherwise, to the best of my knowledge)

The best of your knowledge is 100% deficient in this respect.

The "offending" documents are still online - quite legally - at La Vanguardia.

To understand what the case is about people really need to see them.

I posted all the information you need to access them earlier in the thread.

...

heisje




msg:4671115
 9:38 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

"Right to be forgotten" of currently irrelevant & outdated (NO MORE VALID) damaging personal data. Evidence of this has to be provided in support of the request.

"Right to be forgotten" does not cover all past personal data, but according to the ruling personal data not any longer valid.

As civil society advances to the future, concepts of liberty that were inconceivable in the past, are being gradually conceived, formed and accepted - despite resistance by the blind. Thankfully, civil society does move forward, albeit in slow motion.

.

heisje




msg:4671116
 9:50 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

The best of your knowledge is 100% deficient in this respect.


Spare me the flame: this EU High Court ruling creates *automatically* incontestable legal precedent allowing any citizen in the EU to request in national court deletion of source material in any currently live media.

.

Samizdata




msg:4671126
 10:46 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Spare me the flame: this EU High Court ruling creates *automatically* incontestable legal precedent allowing any citizen in the EU to request in national court deletion of source material in any currently live media.

The complainant in this case requested deletion of the source material and was denied.

The judgment and rulings are freely available online in several languages:


14 On 5 March 2010, Mr Costeja González, a Spanish national resident in Spain, lodged with the AEPD a complaint against La Vanguardia Ediciones SL, which publishes a daily newspaper with a large circulation, in particular in Catalonia (Spain) (‘La Vanguardia’), and against Google Spain and Google Inc. The complaint was based on the fact that, when an internet user entered Mr Costeja González’s name in the search engine of the Google group (‘Google Search’), he would obtain links to two pages of La Vanguardia’s newspaper, of 19 January and 9 March 1998 respectively, on which an announcement mentioning Mr Costeja González’s name appeared for a real-estate auction connected with attachment proceedings for the recovery of social security debts.

15 By that complaint, Mr Costeja González requested, first, that La Vanguardia be required either to remove or alter those pages so that the personal data relating to him no longer appeared or to use certain tools made available by search engines in order to protect the data. Second, he requested that Google Spain or Google Inc. be required to remove or conceal the personal data relating to him so that they ceased to be included in the search results and no longer appeared in the links to La Vanguardia. Mr Costeja González stated in this context that the attachment proceedings concerning him had been fully resolved for a number of years and that reference to them was now entirely irrelevant.

16 By decision of 30 July 2010, the AEPD rejected the complaint in so far as it related to La Vanguardia, taking the view that the publication by it of the information in question was legally justified as it took place upon order of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and was intended to give maximum publicity to the auction in order to secure as many bidders as possible.

The source material remains freely available online - perfectly legally - for anyone to access.

I am legally free to post links to it here (though the moderators might prefer that I didn't).

All four rulings made by the EU Court of Justice in this case specifically refer to search engines.

Hope this helps.

...

Samizdata




msg:4671133
 11:38 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

damaging personal data

The personal data published in the source material was his name.

It was "damaging" only insofar as it was connected to a notice of an attachment order for debt.

This "damaging" fact has now been circulated to the entire world in countless news reports.

News reports are explicitly exempt from the so-called "right to be forgotten".

Search engines (including Google) are free to rank them.

Senor Gonzalez has made the "damage" incalculably worse.

concepts of liberty that were inconceivable in the past, are being gradually conceived, formed and accepted - despite resistance by the blind

People have always been free to make fools of themselves.

Even Barbra Streisand.

"There are none so blind as those who will not see".

...

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4671185
 6:59 am on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google is based in the U.S., there is no way they will offer anyone outside the U.K. the ability to "take everything about themselves offline". I would suspect that people who request such a thing will be scrutinized more, not less, by Google and whatever agency they share data with anyway.

If the internet were truly benevolent it wouldn't gather personal data without permission anyway.

heisje




msg:4671196
 7:37 am on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

The complainant in this case requested deletion of the source material and was denied.


Indeed, prior to the EU High Court ruling, that has now created an incontestable legal precedent allowing for a review of the national lower-court judgement. That was the initial purpose of the Spanish Court referring the issue to the EU High Court.

.

Whitey




msg:4671211
 8:17 am on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Interesting debate going on.

One thing to be aware of in abundance, is that folks don't like their names slurred, nor do companies and organisations. Forget about the complexities with regards to rights and wrongs in the argument, it really depends on where your self interest is.

Most of the big names commenting on this have an argument aligned with their self interest.

I know of a case of a person, who seriously upset a lot of folks. Those folks had hundreds of random websites ranking with all manner of association, from the person's name to activities the person was involved with, and social entries attacking him for what they claim he did. One look for that name and you wouldn't touch that person with a 10ft barge pole. The material has been cleverly distributed and couldn't even be sourced back to the perpetrators.

Irrespective of your view, at the extreme, media lynching is possible .... somehow a rule of law needs to be applied otherwise so called "freedom" will lead to "anarchy" ... which is not where we want to end up as a society.

But with this furore, I can guarantee there will be a lot of lawyers getting paid squillions to drum up cases that line their pockets based on the myriads of implications that can occur from this.

Can't agree more ..... from a practical standpoint it's a hard one to administrate.

Samizdata




msg:4671257
 12:01 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

an incontestable legal precedent

We now have the incontestable right to ask to be forgotten?

We have always had that right.

And in the case of Senor Gonzalez, the request was denied.

...

fom2001uk




msg:4671260
 12:32 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm not too interested in the particulars of this specific case, but what I take away from this, is that Google just got slapped by the EU. Google may be able to bully other governments and buy/lobby their way out of trouble whenever they come up against some resistance, but not the EU. I'm not a fan of the EU either, but its good to see that there is at least one body who can keep Google in check.

Andem




msg:4671308
 4:35 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

+1 heisje

I'm not a fan of the EU either, but its good to see that there is at least one body who can keep Google in check.


But there aren't any straight-forward mechanisms in place to keep the EU in check, not even the European Parliament. Thus making this EU ruling rather tyrannical. Nothing in this ruling seems just and contrary to the common law traditions of free speech. This is a baby/bathwater situation.

This ruling is very worrying for European liberties, freedoms, freedom of speech and freedom of press... a road we've been down far too often in the past hundred years.

engine




msg:4671313
 4:42 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

It seems Google will has made promises to move on this, most likely to show compliance and to test how it'll work.

Google Will Have "Right to be Forgotten" System, In Germany, Within Two Weeks [webmasterworld.com]

Samizdata




msg:4671314
 4:45 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

what I take away from this, is that Google just got slapped by the EU

All search engines that operate as a business in the EU were slapped by a panel of judges interpreting existing legislation - the judges may yet be overruled by other judges and the politicians can always amend the legislation.

As things stand, commercial search engines in the EU are now considered under data protection law to be controllers of personal data and can be forced to de-index specified pages when a complainants name is searched for, even if the publication of the page is lawful and other sites freely link to it, except where a public interest defence can be shown.

The court's judgment is available in 23 languages at: [curia.europa.eu...]

...

engine




msg:4671319
 5:01 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told shareholders Wednesday that Europe’s top court erred when it ruled that the search engine can be forced to erase links to Web content about individuals.

In response to a question at Google’s annual shareholder meeting, Schmidt said the case reflects “a collision between a right to be forgotten and a right to know.” A balance must be struck between those two objectives, Schmidt added and ”Google believes … that the balance that was struck was wrong.”

Chief Legal Office David Drummond said Google is still studying the decision but called it “disappointing,” saying that it ”went too far.”Google's Eric Schmidt Says The EU Got The "Balance Was Struck Wrong" [blogs.wsj.com]


I wonder if there could ever be a happy medium on this. Google wants the information as a matter of record, and the users don't want that information retained.

One could say that a thief that's done their time and is now out of jail and repented should be given a chance. That chance won't happen if a search shows their crime as if it's was only yesterday.

Should information be more clearly dated, and would that help move this forward?

Samizdata




msg:4671323
 5:15 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Should information be more clearly dated, and would that help move this forward?

In the case of Senor Gonzalez, the first item on both "offending" pages was the full date.

...

tangor




msg:4671333
 6:13 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Ultimately this could be a back run toward more control over other aspects of the "web" and as such, should be viewed with suspicion. In reality, in a world with 7 billion folks, the possibility that two or more individuals have the same name is quite possible and... if one wants to disappear and the other wants to be famous who wins in light of this ruling?

Already existing laws in most countries exist to deal with these questions, one more law that obfuscates those laws even further is not highly desired, or even necessary.

Samizdata




msg:4671459
 9:42 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

if one wants to disappear and the other wants to be famous who wins in light of this ruling?

As I understand it, complainants will have to specify particular pages (similar to a DMCA).

So it would not be an issue unless two people with the same name were mentioned on the same page.

Then the lawyers win.

laws in most countries exist to deal with these questions

This case was about whether search engines are "data controllers" under existing data protection laws.

The laws generally affect businesses and service providers that store data supplied by the individuals themselves - like a database of customers with addresses and other details - and things such as government records, health records and bank accounts. The organisations have a duty to keep the information private, to use it only for a specific purpose, to keep it accurate and to keep it no longer than necessary.

Individuals have the right to ask them for a copy of all the information held - the organisations are "legally required to provide you with a copy of the information they hold about you if you request it".

Search engines were already subject to the laws in terms of data relating to their own customers and subscribers.

Now the law apparently applies to data contained in the public web pages that the SEs index.

Other webmasters are not affected and can still link to anything they want.

...

Samizdata




msg:4671469
 10:08 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

The genie is out of the bottle and the flood has begun:

The Guardian understands that the applications have been made to remove links to information that the complainants say is outdated or irrelevant including, in the UK, a former politician who is now seeking office and wishes information about their behaviour while in office to be removed. A man convicted of possessing child abuse images has demanded links to pages about his conviction are taken out of the index, while a doctor has said that negative reviews from patients should not be searchable.

Source: [theguardian.com...]

...

piatkow




msg:4671610
 9:22 am on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)


One could say that a thief that's done their time and is now out of jail and repented should be given a chance. That chance won't happen if a search shows their crime as if it's was only yesterday.

In some jurisdictions a conviction does become "spent" if the person stays out of trouble for a certain length of time. I can see that as an issue for somebody with an unusual name.

In my view the issue isn't so much a "right to be forgotten" but the presentation of infomation out of context for example where an accusation comes high in the SERPS but the fact that somebody else was then tried and punished is hidden because it is indexed under different names.

The best way to be "forgotten" is too change your name to John Smith.

Samizdata




msg:4671613
 10:40 am on May 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

In some jurisdictions a conviction does become "spent" if the person stays out of trouble for a certain length of time.

That does not mean that nobody is allowed to mention it or write about it.

In UK under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act an offender does not have to mention a spent conviction "when applying for most jobs or insurance, some educational courses and housing applications." This does not apply for jobs working with children or the vulnerable, jobs in law enforcement and the legal system, and high level financial positions.

Where there is any conviction for violent or sexual crime or a sentence of four years or more it is never spent.

Employers are not allowed to take into account spent convictions which they are not entitled to ask about.

That is the purpose of the law.

Webmasters are entitled to publish the details, though, and the public is entitled to read them.

The best way to be "forgotten" is to change your name to John Smith.

Extremely good advice, and very cheap to do.

...

graeme_p




msg:4671827
 4:08 am on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google could do what they do with DMCA notifications and add a notice to the search results that results have been removed. That would let them comply with the law but render it toothless.

heisje




msg:4671868
 10:06 am on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

That would let them comply with the law but render it toothless.

As a citizen, would you truly be gratified if they did so, and render it toothless? Would you be gratified if damaging personal information, valid in the distant past for a citizen but no longer valid today, was made as public as possible today (and as damaging as possible, today) through the immense technical power of a very efficient search engine with global reach?

Just wondering . . . . .

.

Samizdata




msg:4671894
 12:21 pm on May 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Would you be gratified if damaging personal information, valid in the distant past for a citizen but no longer valid today, was made as public as possible today (and as damaging as possible, today) through the immense technical power of a very efficient search engine with global reach?

Mario Costeja González is quoted as saying "I'm happy".

His is not a hypothetical case, and the "damaging personal information" about him is everywhere now.

Do a search on his name if you don't believe me.

"News is what somebody does not want you to print. All the rest is advertising".

...

This 69 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 69 ( 1 [2] 3 > >
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