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Google and the right to be forgotten

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Pete J, 3 Jun 2014.

  1. Pete J

    Pete J Employed scum

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    I'm surprised that no one has passed any comment on this.

    I'm sure most of you will know that Google now have to offer the ability to 'forget' information about anything, from people to companies. Read this Telegraph article for a bit of background.

    As expected, the majority of requests (I make it ~62%) are from those who have committed a crime.

    I for one am extremely angry about this (apologies for the Daily Mail type statement). For me, this act has been passed by those who don't seem to appreciate how this will be abused. This is censorship in one of its finer forms - removal of the truth. Does this mean Wikipedia will have to alter pages referring to 'embarrassing' moments during a person's life?

    Anyway, what are my fellow forum goers' thoughts?
     
  2. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    I think it's pretty shocking. And pretty daft. If you search a newspapers own site the incriminating story would not have to be censored. But if you use a search engine that searches multiple newspapers it would have to censor the results.

    Either way it will make a lot of money for lawyers and consultancies and PR people.

    It'sa completely moronic decision and I have to question the competence of the court on the basis of it.
     
  3. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

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    The most absurd thing is that it only removes the link from Google results. It doesn't take down the webpage, and (AFAIK) you'll still be able to see the search result on other search engines like Bing.

    They've just a section about it in Law in Action on R4, and the other main point to come out of that programme was that Google will have to make a decision based on one side of the argument (that of the person issuing the take-down request) with no requirement for Google to get an opposing viewpoint.

    Oh, and there's no legal oversight - Google gets the final decision.

    Like most things involving IT and politics, it's a decision made by a bunch of politicians and lawyers who don't really understand what they're doing and shutting the wrong stable door...:sigh:
     
  4. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    It won't work in practice, so I'm not too worried about it. Google gets final say, and can afford to pay some seriously ninja lawyers if it gets contested in court (whereas the odd paedophile or shady businessman cannot). In any case, why would you rely on a Google search for any information that is as important as previous convictions or bankrupcy rulings? There are more trustworthy sources for that.
     
  5. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    But why is google going to spend a fortune on lawyers fighting every fraudster that wants links to articles about his trial removed?
     
    Last edited: 3 Jun 2014
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    It doesn't cost Google anything; when a request is made Google basically just says no. It is up to the fraudster to then open a case against Google and force it to remove the link. Good luck finding a sollicitor to take that on, on a "no win, no fee" basis, when Google can afford to string a case out for years just to discourage others from trying the same.

    Great publicity for the law firm too: "We will bring every resource of our legal team to bear on this case (and possibly your taxpayer-funded legal aid) to fight for this man's right not to be known to the world as the child molester or fraudster that he is! Justice will be served!" :p
     
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  7. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you won't be able to afford a solicitor nor me. But a fooballer who's been done for drink driving or a businessmean with a shady past will be able to do it. And Google aren't going to thow their cash at lawyers when the law seems pretty clear that they will have to remove a lot of these links.
     
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Not necessarily.

    A businessman with a shady past will consider this a business decision: do I spend millions on a high-profile case with Google that will create a lot of unwanted publicity, when I can just lay low and carry on doing my shady business (it's amazing how easily people are taken in and don't Google your credentials: a good mark wants to be conned. A suspicious mark is trouble anyway and should be steered clear of)? Fraudsters are used to being called out, and just dissemble their way out of it. It's how they manage to carry on for such a long time.

    A footballer who has been done for drink driving has other things to worry about. His position with his employing club may be threatened, as will all his commercial sponsorships and endorsement affiliations. That means: no more money. His agent, if he has any sense, will advise damage limitation: fess up, act all contrite and promise to mend your ways, do a celebrity show at a drink driving campaign. It's cheaper and if you do it right, you come out more golden than you were before.
     
  9. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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  10. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    The part that makes this an even dumber idea is that it only applies to Europe, so we end up with a two tier Internet.

    It should come as no surprise that TPB want to exert control on the information available on the Internet, after all knowledge is power and they have been telling us what we can and can't do for years.
     
  11. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    The guy who was responsible for getting this law enacted is the prime example for why it won't work...

    Spaniard Mario Costeja Gonzalez, complained because Google turned up info about him having debts in the late 90s and having his house repo'd because of those debts...

    The result is the one thing he wanted to be forgotten, is now the only thing most people will people know about him...


    ... there's a term for that.
     
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  12. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    To be fair, without jumping straight to pedophiles (my god, think if the dirty annoying children), don't you think having debts 20 years ago is something that should be forgotten? Even a credit report only goes back 7 years (in the US). Not everything needs to be searchable for people not in the criminal court system or in the public eye. If you think only fraudsters will use it, think how easy it is for them to look up your non-facebook fact. Do people really need to see every address I have had in the US since 1993? I should be able to remove all that from immediate access. Not from the public tax records, but from a google search? yeah.

    I, for one, like the idea. I think it should be implemented globally.
     
  13. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    This is fair enough, but based on your opinion here the problem is not the fact that a search engine finds publicly available information; rather, the problem is the public availability of certain data. Is it right to force Google to remove search results for data that still resides in the open? Using the US as an example, for the purposes of his credit report those old debts would not have any impact. However, this was a newspaper article documenting an event that occurred based on that debt. If Mr. Gonzales believed that the information is irrelevant and should be forgotten, then he should petition the newspaper to archive the story and remove it from public searches.

    I think it's interesting that the two Telegraph articles focus on Google. I presume the legislation also extends to Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, Lycos, or any of the other couple dozen or so search engines.
     
  14. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    No i don't.
    I think it should be down to the person viewing such information to make their own mind up, is that it happened 20 years ago still relevant to any dealings they maybe having with him now. Personally it wouldn't color my dealings with such a person, if it was a more serious affair then maybe it would.
    Only if you are from Europe, do the same search from anywhere else in the world and you will get different results. I'm not sure if the search engines will use DNS or just the domain (.co.uk versus .com) to identify your location.

    AFAIK it applies to all search engines, not that there are many that don't use Google, it makes up 90% of global search engine traffic.
     
  15. aramil

    aramil One does not simply upgrade Forums

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    Google have said it is domain based so just use ".com" and carry on :thumbup:
     
  16. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

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    Mr. Gonzales did try to go after La Vanguardia first.
    Also I doubt it

    I think what many are forgetting here is just how easy it is to get information nowadays. Before 2009 the article has been available just the same, but someone interested in Mr. Gonzales had to go down to the newspaper or a library and dig around in the archive. Thus obtaining relevant information was quite hard and time consuming.

    After 2009 not so much, you get the same information in under a minute.

    Information like this will hurt is ability to do business now. Remember he never broke a law. He is not a criminal, he just had to sell his house. Twenty years ago. We don't even know why. But to think that people looking to do business with him will not at least doubt him is just naive.




    I firmly believe this ruling is a step in the right direction. Because everyone has always been in favor of making as much information as possible as easy to access as possible, even personal information. But there never has been much debate about how to keep the privacy of the individual and the negative effects of all the information available.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 4 Jun 2014
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    If the government deemed it relevant to make that information about Mr. Gonzales' finances public in the first place, why should his prospective customers not know about it now? Let them make up their own mind how relevant it is now. Valid and informed consent and all that.

    Fact is: whether it is a Google search or a piece of gossip told by someone you coincidentally met at a party after two decades, past crimes and misdemeanours will come back to haunt you. It may be water under the bridge for you, but any victims may still be living with the consequences today.

    As for the rest: anyone who judges you on stupidities committed as a teenager has forgotten their own youth.
     
  18. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    So when they refused to remove the information, instead of taking them to court he took the company that indexes it to the courts. It's not like the information isn't there anymore, just the indexing of the information in Europe has been removed, creating a two tier Internet.

    True, but that doesn't change how that information is used. If you don't like something that the newspaper or library archive contains you don't just tear out the page in the indexing system that points to it, in only one newspaper or library archive.

    Well it will now. His name will be forever linked with him being forced by the Spanish Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to sell properties because of social security debts. And that he opened the flood gates for a lot of other, more dubious characters to get their details removed from the indexing system.

    This isn't about what information is available, this is about not being able to remove the information, so instead you tear out the pages from the indexing system. If information is wrong or outdated you should seek to correct that with the source, not the people that simply index it.
     
  19. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    Of course much of what this will affect won't be that sinister. I suspect Google won't remove links to newspaper reports of someone's pedophilia conviction on the basis that it's not irrelevant or misleading.

    But there will be a lot of money spend by popstars asking for picktures of them lookign fat to be delinked and I imagine less savoury characters may asks for links to investigative journalism pieces that didn't result in a conviction to be removed.
     
  20. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Don't care about pop stars' vanity, and less savoury characters would simply sue the newspaper. To go for Google instead would be as much as an admission of guilt; not a "you're wrong about what you're saying about me" as much as a "don't tell anybody".

    Seriously: I want to know if my prospective business partner is legit. I don't check out his Company House registration; I don't get references from his previous customers. I don't get legal advice about contracts and my financial risks. I just Google him. Nothing shows up. Seems legit.

    Or: I'm looking for a nanny for my child. I don't check if she's registered with an approved agency; I don't check her qualifications, nor her CRB record, nor do I get references from previous employers. I just Google her. Nothing shows up; seems legit, no?

    Don't be silly. We have systems in place to check people's background where it matters. Only an idiot would rely on Google for that.
     

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