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Google and the right to be forgotten

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

  1. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    Personally I think this is a very slippery slope, effectively towards Minitrue. I don't honestly think that a corporation should be trusted with editing the truth about someone's past (yes you may not want anyone to know that you went bankrupt 16 years ago but that doesn't detract from the fact that you did go bankrupt) because it opens up a lot of opportunities for abuse.
     
  2. Nexxo

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

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    Google is not editing the truth. It is just trying to show what information is out there. Results will always be less than perfect and absence of evidence should never be interpreted as evidence of absence.
     
  3. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    All well and good if you are planning to go into partnership, but what if you just wanted to checked out that guy who is always late in paying the invoices you send him.

    What if it wasn't as important as hiring a nanny, say a single mum who wants to know if she can trust some bloke she met online, if she should take the relationship to the next level and introduce him to her children.
    But it's great to be silly :D Discover your inner child man :lol:

    We have systems in place to check people's background, but what "matters" has been decided by a third party.
    Is it not down to the individual to form an opinion on something or someone based on all information, and not just what TPTB deem is relevant.
     
  4. megamale

    megamale Member

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    I am not quite sure what to think of this judgement. I agree with the spirit, ie a basic right of privacy, but I don't agree with the implementation.

    If house repossessions are a private event, then it's the original website that needs to take down that information, not Google. Google only indexes what is out there in a more accessible manner. It didn't put that information out there in the first place. I think that Google was just an easy, big, profitable, corporate target and hence just the default target of blame.

    For convicted crimes, again, same as above. Some countries make this information available for life, others have a time limit on how long something stays in your criminal record. That should be respected, maybe even by newspapers. What do we do about all the non-official chatter about it, forums, twitter, old articles... No idea

    But for acquitted crimes, that's a very different ballgame. Just having been suspected and then acquitted of, say, paedophilia, would destroy your life if the papers get to it. The acquittal news won't even be as prevalent as the suspicion one. This can happen to anyone, and something needs to be done to protect the innocent. It's probably then easier to do that via Google, than go after every twitter and forum user that commented on the story.
     
  5. Nexxo

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

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    The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. If he is always late paying up, stop doing business with him.

    Meet him in a public area: go out for dinner a few times, catch a movie, do some activities together; get to know him. Invite him for a meal at your home together with some of your friends/family. Get invited back; meet his friends/family. You know, the conventional way we've been dating and getting to know each other before that newfangled thing called the internet.

    Do not depend on Google. It is not the fountain of all knowledge.
     
  6. Risky

    Risky Well-Known Member

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    Of course not. But it has been a way of finding some. Now if you want to look to see where somone was mentioned in the media you will need to go and search all the newspapers and other providers individually if you think there is reason that the subject of your search way have wanted to hide something.
     
  7. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Maybe i should used a more direct way of speaking (typing), the point i was trying to make is what do you do when the risk isn't worth the time and/or effort it would take to do a company house registration, or get references from his previous customers, or pay for legal advice about contracts and financial risks.

    Or in the case of the nanny, what if you don't have the time or money to check if she's registered with an approved agency, to check her qualifications are not fakes, to wait for CRB checks, or to check if her references from previous employers are legit.

    While i wouldn't depend on Google for the only source of information, it can be used as a quick and easy way to possibly look up any information that may be a cause of concern, and warrant further investigation.

    Yet none of those things would tell you if he had a chequered past, i would prefer the information to be available and allow people to make their own judgment.
     
  8. Nexxo

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

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    Well, you'll just have to decide how much time and effort your financial security or the wellbeing of your child are worth. I certainly wouldn't stake either on what Google says.

    And just because a guy comes up clean on Google doesn't mean he is safe. I wouldn't stake my personal safety on what Google says either.
     
  9. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    But if Google linked to a site with information that was a concern to you, would that prompt you to investigate further ? It's not like this information isn't still available, it's just someone has removed the entry in the indexing system that facilitates finding it.

    Google doesn't (AFAIK) have an opinion on what it indexes, opinions seem to be the reserve of the courts and politicians that are sitting in judgment of what is and is not acceptable.
     
  10. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    I think that is the whole point. The information is still there. but you need to go looking for it.

    Not true. If anyone googles you, they sit in judgement of what they find.

    Let's say there is Hypothetical Me.

    Say I had sex with a girl who was 17 and 9months old. I was 18 and her dad hated me. I now have a statutory rape charge and who all knows what else. Fast forward to me being 40, married and kids. Why shouldn't I be able to remove the links that google holds? the public record is what it is, but should that haunt me forever out of context with who I am today?

    Or when I was 16 for 6 months I ran with a bunch of skin heads. Being 16 it was a quick political phase. Now, I'm 30 and in grad school where I met the perfect woman who's skin isn't as white as mine. Shouldn't I be able to get to know her for who I am today and let my past become known in time where she can put it into the right context?

    I'm 40 now, and thankfully most of my 'events' are either from a time before the internet is what it is or from when I was wise enough not to record them. But as privacy shrinks, I would think that kids today will appreciate being able to shed at least some of their past as they get older.

    I do take away 2 things from reading this thread:

    One is that most of you actually think that google is right all the time and don't actually have the ability to find the proper channels of credible information.

    The other is most of you seem more scared of the tiny numbers of "con men and public figures" that might hide one or two things, rather then the impending weight of your youthful stupidity. And, yes, I know for a fact that every one of you will reach a point where you'll wish something in your past wasn't a google click away. :)
     
    Aterius Gmork likes this.
  11. Nexxo

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

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    I would investigate further irrespective of what Google does or doesn't say. Google frankly doesn't come into it. That is my whole point.

    And Jumeira_Johnny is right. If you have to rely on Google to tell you whether it is safe to get into business with someone, whether this person can be trusted with the care of your child, whether this guy is safe to date, then you get exactly what you deserve.
     
  12. Pete J

    Pete J Employed scum

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    Intriguing responses so far chaps.

    No, I think I have the right to view all available information and make that call for myself.
    Tiny number? As I said in my first post, ~62% are reported to be from people wishing to suppress criminal behaviour.
     
  13. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I think I must have misinterpreted the discussion because that's not the impression I got. I don't think people are arguing that we should rely on Google as the sole source of information. I think people are arguing against forcing Google to remove links to publicly available information. What you state here - i.e. people shouldn't just rely on Google to get information on prospective business clients - is wise advice. However, that's a bit different than Jumeria_Johnny's broader point about having the right to remove information about your past - particularly when that information is a matter of public record.

    I tend to think of it like Wikipedia. It shouldn't be used as a definitive source of information, but it can be a convenient starting point from which to seek further information.

    I wonder - do masochists fill out a request for Google to remove all links to positive information about them?
     
  14. Nexxo

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

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    You still do. You just have to go look for it a bit harder instead of relying on Google to peel your grapes for you. Perhaps that notion is a bit easier on ol' Jumeira_Johnny and me because we were born before the internet and still know how to use libraries and such. :p

    What sort of criminal behaviour? Anything that is a relevant concern to the public now?

    Well, he made two points. One is that people have a right to privacy, and one is that information obtained may be out-dated and out of context, and hence lead to misinterpretations. I am agreeing on the second point: when it really matters, you don't just want to rely on what Google manages to trawl up from the web's seabed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 5 Jun 2014
  15. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    So instead of looking something up in the index, you have to read every book in the library to find out if it has the information you are looking for.

    So instead of each person making that judgment based on their own situation or circumstances, we have chosen to abdicate that responsibility, instead preferring someone else to censor what information is available. Just like TPTB did when they didn't think it was right for George Appleton's conviction of domestic abuse should be public knowledge, because his conviction had been spent. We now have the domestic violence disclosure scheme (Clare's Law) so people can find out if a partner has a history of domestic violence, even after there conviction is spent.

    Shouldn't those examples you give be down to the person involved to make that judgment of you ? Rather than a third party that knows nothing about you, how you may have changed your ways, or how you still (hypothetically) still exhibit those traits.


    And who decides what is credible information, you or a third party ?
    It's akin to a library removing parts of the indexing system because they think some books may not be suitable for you, or because you don't have the free will to make up your own mind if certain information is true or not.

    It's not to do with being scared of the con men, or other unsavory figures.
    It's to do with the freedom to make your own mind up, based on all available information and not just what you are allowed to know.

    And what would cause you to investigate further ? To spend the time and the money to do proper checks on someone. Do you distrust every person you meet and run background checks on everyone ?
    No one is saying that people should rely on Google, Google is nothing more than an indexing system that people can use to quickly find out information, what they do with that information is up to them. Removing parts of the indexing system just means people have to look harder if they are suspicious of someone.

    Would Clare Wood have been murdered by a convicted criminal if she could have found out about his past.
    After all the domestic violence disclosure scheme is the same as Google, an indexing system of information on peoples past that someone with concerns can use to find out if those concerns are valid.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2014
  16. Nexxo

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

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    Not every book. Even libraries have indexing systems, you know?

    No, only those I give significant chunks of money to, or leave my children in care with (and I don't put out on a first date). Seems reasonable, no? Or do you intend to use in your defence after you've been defrauded for thousands, or your children have been molested: "But Google said they were OK?!"

    As they should.

    Would she have found out through Google? But it would possibly have helped if she hadn't contacted him, slept with him and visited his flat after he turned out to be a violent psycho.

    It is not at all the same as Google. The domestic violence disclosure scheme is created with a specific purpose and subject to governance; Google is just a dump of any information out there, regardless of source or truth.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2014
  17. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    TBH, I find that a tad broad. Is it actual criminal convictions? Unsavoury practices? Past mistakes? Active behaviour?

    No. If you want to find out someone's criminal past, you can make those requests to the local or national authorities. I wouldn't want to rely on google or a news publication where all the actual facts might not be relevant or factual. A good lawyer or a PI can make that happen. I have been through 3 FBI/DOJ background checks and quite a few other ones. That information and the results do not need to be searchable. If you want to know and have a reason to, then you already know who and how to ask.

    and such laws are great, but don't and shouldn't rely on google. You need to go to which ever office the law allows access the public record. Which is how it should be.

    You're making my point for me. Google being the 3rd party. If an employer needs that, or anyone else who wants to make the effort to know, there are ways to get it fairly easily. I just think it needs to be harder then a quick google.

    No, it's not. It's akin to a library making you ask for them. It's not changing the public record or removing facts, it's simply not letting Google display them. Before google was around, people still wanted to know about people's past and present. Having the option to have google remove parts of that doesn't change that it happened or that you can find out about it. Like I said earlier, are all of my addresses I have lived at since 1993 something you have a 'right' to know? or something I should be able to remove and if you want or need to know, then you can make the right inquiries?

    So it's better to have false or improper information? or outdated information? It's not what you are allowed to know.

    If I want to know about a business, I ask someone that can look into a factual record, not google it. For all I know, there is a dirty hippy somewhere that thinks the SPCA is hurting puppies. If that is what I find on Google, does it make it true? does it make sense that the SPCA be allowed to remove links and go about it's business? or do I go to trade, business, governmental and legal sources?

    More important, if your mom or sister were sexually assaulted, do I have a 'right' to google that and find it? Or if your dad has a past of depression and suicidal thoughts? or does that seem like something you would want to have Google de-link? and if so, by your argument, don't I deserve to make my own judgement based on all the google-able facts?

    Of course I distrust everyone I meet. Until proven otherwise, you're suspect. I would if I could. Rightfully, the ability to look everyone up comes with the question of 'why?'. Even the Police can't (aren't supposed to) just look anyone up for no reason.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2014
  18. Pete J

    Pete J Employed scum

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    You may not believe it Nexxo, but there are others (like myself) who were also alive before the days of the internet. I am thankful that the internet is here to dramatically speed up the searching process and have no desire to go back to archaic systems. Hell, I like the fact that while I'm at work I can search for papers on things while I'm taking a dump.
    Isn't it up to me if it is still a relevant concern?
    That's a fair comment, but I reiterate my response to Nexxo.

    Also, you need to clean up your last post as you've got Corky and myself confused!
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2014
  19. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    But what Google has been forced to do is to remove parts of that indexing system, and only in some library's. Like i said what the courts have ordered is not to remove the actual information, just the link in the indexing system.

    That is akin to ordering a library that they must prevent people from searching its indexing system for the word "boobies" so now if someone wants information on that subject they are going to have to read every book in the library to find out what ones are relevant to them.

    Google doesn't says anything when it comes to indexing the Internet.
    That's like saying the indexing system in the library is telling you if a book is good or not, is true or not.
    Indexing systems tell you nothing, they just make it easier for you to find the information you are looking for so you can make your own judgments.

    And why should they ? should we remove all indexing systems so people have to spend inordinate amounts of time trying to find the information they need.

    It's possibly she may have, who knows.
    Maybe you need to look at the timeline for those events from the link you posted.

    But the domestic violence disclosure scheme is still nothing more than an indexing system, one that just has some rules on who can access it. Whose truths are those, shouldn't it be down to each individual to make up their own minds so they can make informed decision

    Why is everyone hung up on that it's Google providing this information ? It's not providing any information, it is just indexing what information is available.

    Information is just that, what you do with it, and how you use it should be up to each individual.
    By removing entries from the indexing system you are not correcting a wrong, you are not removing the information, you are just making it harder and therefore less likely that people will find it.
     
  20. Nexxo

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

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    I also think that the internet is really, really great (and not just for porn). But I wouldn't stake my safety, or that of my children, on a Google search, is all.

    And it's up to you to find the information. There are appropriate, curated sources for that, which you can still find with a single Google search ("Companies House", for instance) and will still allow you to access that information from the comfort of your web browser. This changes nothing.

    That is a false analogy. It's like the library removing the index entry for "Corky42's boobies". You now have to look up the "book of boobies", and go through its index to find the page with "Corky42's boobies". OK, we've made this sound weird now.

    No, it's like relying on the indexing system to tell you whether a book on the topic you are looking at contains the specific information you need or not. If it is important, you should just check the frigging book.

    You say that a Google entry would alert you whether to do further research into a person's background. I argue that in situations where it matters, you should do that regardless.

    They don't have to. They can still Google for the relevant record sources, then visit those sources, and punch in the relevant person's name. It is more accurate and reliable than punching a name into Google and hoping that a web indexing system not designed for the purpose of checking someone's background in the first place comes up with a useful snippet.

    Crap hit the fan on 07.10.07, with Appleton acting aggressively enough for Clare to feel the need to call the police. After some more incidents, on 04.11.07 she tells the police to go easy on him, he is no longer a threat. Re-iterated on 28.12.07 as he has not been in contact since. On 18.01.08 she reports sexual assault. On 23.01.08 she admitted that she had proactively contacted Appleton after 08.10.07 and contrary to her claim on 28.12.07 they had spoken and met on several occasions. She confirms that they had consensual sex in November and she had voluntarily gone to his flat on 17.01.08, the night of the sexual assault.

    And you argue that a woman who acts in such blatant denial of obvious danger would have been more cautious if Google had revealed previous history? I think not.

    No, it is a scheme that allows anyone to access it (Right to ask: Victims (potential and actual), third parties (parents, neighbours and friends) and agencies can all make requests under the scheme), and is subject to governance to ensure that the information is factually correct and up to date. There's nobody's 'truths', either Google's or someone else's; there's facts. Unless you just prefer to just rely on whatever a Google search randomly drags up.

    I'm not. You're hung up on the idea that it might not be able to. I'm just saying that you shouldn't rely on it to in the first place.

    I disagree that it makes things harder. There are relevant, easily identifiable and accessible information sources out there, which you can find with Google, which you can access on the web, that will give you the accurate information that you need. Sorry if you actually have to do a few minutes' work to keep your money, your children or yourself safe, while you'd prefer the lazy, random blunderbuss approach of a Google search to a systematic, directed research of reliable factual databases specifically created for he purpose.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2014

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