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EU Privacy Your Rights Online

No "Right To Be Forgotten," Says EU Advocate General 116

DW100 writes "A ruling this morning from the European Court of Justice has said that Google does not have to delete personal data from its search index, in a case that could have huge ramifications for web privacy and the so-called 'right to be forgotten.'" From the article: EU Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen "said Google and other search engines are not subject to privacy requirements under current European data protection law. 'Search engine service providers are not responsible, on the basis of the Data Protection Directive, for personal data appearing on web pages they process,' he said in his official ruling, published by the court. He went on to explain that based on current laws citizens do not have a right to be removed from search indexes within the framework of the Data Protection Directive. 'The Directive does not establish a general "right to be forgotten." Such a right cannot therefore be invoked against search engine service providers on the basis of the Directive,' he said."
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No "Right To Be Forgotten," Says EU Advocate General

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  • by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:33AM (#44099875)

    If you don't want your data mined then you shouln't publish it in the first place.

  • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:37AM (#44099905)
    Yeah, and don't appear in any photos so people can't tag you on Facebook while you're at it. Most of your personal data out there was uploaded and maintained by someone else.
  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:43AM (#44099949) Homepage Journal

    This is not the right to be forgotten, it is something completely different. The right to be forgotten means that you can ask Google to delete data you gave to it yourself, e.g. your Gmail account a G+ profile. It does not have anything to do with removing search results.

  • Right To Remember (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:46AM (#44099977)
    We all have the right to remember things and discuss them. A "Right to be Forgotten" is an attack on the peoples freedom of thought. It is censorship used by the rich and powerful to hide their crimes. It is an attempt to avoid public shaming.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:50AM (#44100003)

    Right, just as people may actually _mention_ you in conversation in real life without you giving consent. You do not have control over others. The internet isn't a magical place where different rules apply. Being terrified of having your picture on the internet is just a new twist on agoraphobia.

  • by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:54AM (#44100037)
    In practice, lawsuits are filed when the data is displayed that causes loss of reputation. Thus the "Right to be Forgotten" is mainly going to be used in court to censor websites and search results.
  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:55AM (#44100041) Homepage Journal

    The right to be forgotten doesn't mean what you think it means.

    It won't allow you to have material about you removed from random web sites. All it does it allow you to delete your own account and data, and that is must really be deleted and not just marked as dormant like Facebook does.

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:55AM (#44100047) Journal

    nah, it's more reality. The whole "Right to be forgotten" in the EU was basically believing in a magical world that doesn't exist. If you de-list something, is it gone? Of course not. Should you be able to sue the daylights out of someone who dares host something about you, that you don't like? absolutely not.

    So while their approach is terrible (and implies basically that they're collecting data about you and won't let you ask that to be removed), the whole "right to be forgotten" is all but willingly pulling wool over your own eyes.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @10:13AM (#44100213) Journal

    I suspect that in this I will be contrary to most of the /. audience, but I don't believe that there IS an inherent "right to be forgotten".

    Not at ALL.

    In fact, I'd go so far as to point to the anonymizing of people as one of the more pernicious aspects of modern society (both as subject and as direct-object).

    What we do, what we say, and the ripples of these actions are fundamentally WHO WE ARE. For better or worse, they are inescapably tied to us.

    As much as we'd like to deny some things, or be allowed to (re)define ourselves, our actions speak more clearly to our essential character and personality than anything we can say, or rationalize, or even remember (since our memories are going to be biased in any case). Everyone makes mistakes, fools try to run from them. The facts of our mistakes are likewise part of us.

    The idea that people have a "right" to erase this, to say "I am as I am today, not as I was yesterday" isn't subtle and isn't profound: it's denial.

    Oh I think I "get it" - the assertion behind the 'right to be forgotten' is one of anonymity. In an era where the power of the individual seems to have vanished in the face of the might of collective entities like governments and corporations, the perception is that one can dodge aside by being anonymous. That too is silly in an era where passive observation is growing more comprehensive and data retention is nearly eternal.

  • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @11:02AM (#44100659)

    The internet isn't a magical place where different rules apply.

    Well... Yes. Yes, it is.

    When someone mentions me in real life conversation, it's a private discussion, taking place between a small group of people, in a given place, at a given time, in isolation, and probably for their own personal reasons.

    When someone mentions me on the Internet, it's a public discussion, taking place in front of the entire world, accessible from anywhere in the world, archived for all eternity in a searchable format also accessible to the entire world, potentially correlated with any other data about me that is out there, for any purpose.

    Do you really not see that there are different implications and potential consequences to those two scenarios, and that maybe understanding and protection of privacy needs to evolve along with understanding and development of technology?

  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @11:41AM (#44101151) Homepage Journal

    did the guy want library archives to be burnt too?

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @11:45AM (#44101203)

    What I don't have is a right to get Google to delete all information or random but accurate information about me.

    It's a fine line actually.

    If you tell Google to delete your Google account, then the Right To be Forgotten says that Google must delete all information contained in your account - your GMail emails, your G+ profiles, updates, friends, and any data Google may have collected about you.

    HOWEVER, it does NOT mean Google must remove you from the index - since the index is created by trawling through other websites. Your information revealed through other websites is NOT Google's problem.

    Right now, when you delete an account, who knows what happens to that data. RTBF simply means that information should be deleted. It does not mean that incidentally acquired information unlinked to the account should be deleted as well.

    Consider a library. RTBF means if you turn in your library card, they get rid of all information about you in the system - including what books you borrowed (the book information would change your name to "No longer a patron"). However, it does NOT say the librarian has to erase you from their memory, or that any books, newspapers, etc., that mention you have to eliminated either.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @12:16PM (#44101603) Homepage Journal

    The right to be forgotten only applies to commercial companies that keep data you gave them. Personal details, website accounts, photos you upload, that sort of thing. The right hasn't come in yet, but when it does we will be able to demand that data is deleted and the company must comply.

    If you write a blog post about someone you have nothing to worry about, they can't get it taken down with this right.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.