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Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
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1 recommendation

EU Ruling on Google and User Privacy

As of May 13, internet users in Europe have the "right to be forgotten" by Google and other search engines. The ruling is final and unappealable. Google has already received requests for removal of information.

»www.nytimes.com/2014/05/14/techn···tml?_r=0

»www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article···er.html#
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


Chubbzie

join:2014-02-11
Greenville, NC

1 recommendation

Ridiculous, evidently the EU believes Google is the entire Internet? Can't wait for the day I can make a complete fool of myself in front of an audience & then require all attendees to forget what occurred.



Blackbird
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reply to Mele20

This is not necessarily a simple issue. The kernel of the issue:

quote:
The court also said that a search engine “as a general rule” should place the right to privacy over the right of the public to find information.
The reality of the issue:
quote:
Under the court’s ruling, information would still exist on websites, court documents and online archives of newspapers, but people would not necessarily know it was there.
The possible consequences:
quote:
...A trade group for information technology companies said the court’s decision posed a threat to free expression. “This ruling opens the door to large-scale private censorship in Europe,” said James Waterworth, the head of the Brussels office for the Computer and Communications Industry Association...
...
“For the first time, human dignity will get the same treatment online as copyright,” Mr. Fertik said. “It will be protected under the law. That’s a huge deal." The only loser, he said, was Google. “It no longer gets to profit from your misery.”
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville


siljaline
I'm lovin' that double wide
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reply to Mele20

Been following this with earnest since the story broke the other day:

Google looms as 'censor-in-chief' after ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling
»www.cbc.ca/news/world/google-loo···.2641714

Google’s Legal Blow: What ‘the Right to Be Forgotten’ Means
»blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/05/13/···-ruling/

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales blasts ruling forcing Google to erase search results
»www.cnet.com/news/wikipedias-jim···results/



Snowy
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reply to Blackbird

said by Blackbird:

The reality of the issue:

quote:
Under the court’s ruling, information would still exist on websites, court documents and online archives of newspapers, but people would not necessarily know it was there.

That's pretty cool, IMO
So I can do a Google search of;
"Snowy makes fool of himself"
have it return 9721 hits to DSLReports & request that Google removes the links without having any effect on my 9721 DSLReports posts.

An opt-out Google, I like it.


DrDrew
That others may surf
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1 edit

Would you have to opt out with every search engine individually? Google. Bing. Yahoo. Ixquick. Dogpile. DSLR. CIA. NSA. Etc. etc.

--
---You cannot fix a problem that you refuse to acknowledge.



Snowy
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said by DrDrew:

Would you have to opt out with every search engine individually? Google. Bing. Yahoo. Ixquick. Dogpile. DSLR. CIA. NSA. Etc. etc.

It's a no-brainer that an opt-out registry is going to come into existence.
The other thing is that this is going to apply to publicly accessible search engines so @CIA. NSA. Etc. etc. it will be business as usual.
Not that the CIA, NSA etc... has any accountability to the EU anyway.


DrDrew
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Click for full size
said by Snowy:

It's a no-brainer that an opt-out registry is going to come into existence.
The other thing is that this is going to apply to publicly accessible search engines so @CIA. NSA. Etc. etc. it will be business as usual.
Not that the CIA, NSA etc... has any accountability to the EU anyway.

Wonder how a mass opt-opt would work.... Entered terms, name only, would you have to prove who you are? Would the search engine have to tell you it's been censored or it just won't display it? Would publicly accessible searches of individual sites have to register with some opt-out site? How would that be enforced? Those pop-up and disappear every day....

Obviously the CIA has other search engines for other records, but I just had to check...
--
---You cannot fix a problem that you refuse to acknowledge.


Snowy
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said by DrDrew:

Obviously the CIA has other search engines for other records, but I just had to check...

That actually brought up a good question.
Does this ruling cover a sites search feature which is powered by Goggle etc...
I'll assume the answer would be 'yes'.


Bill_MI
Bill In Michigan
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reply to Mele20

Regardless how clumsy this may be, I see a very interesting point brought out...

said by »www.nytimes.com/2014/05/14/techn···ays.html :
Michael Fertik is chief executive of Reputation.com, which helps people improve their search results into something they find less objectionable.

“For the first time, human dignity will get the same treatment online as copyright,” Mr. Fertik said. “It will be protected under the law. That’s a huge deal.”


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

1 recommendation

reply to Chubbzie

said by Chubbzie:

Ridiculous, evidently the EU believes Google is the entire Internet?

Agreed... at least we know that judges that don't understand the internet exist all over the world, not just in the USA

What really blows my mind is the original news article will still exist... just google can't index it? Talk about not understanding what is going on....


DrDrew
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said by dib22:

What really blows my mind is the original news article will still exist... just google can't index it? Talk about not understanding what is going on....

Google can still index it, just some things won't show in search results on search engines that have been told to opt out certain things.
--
---You cannot fix a problem that you refuse to acknowledge.


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by DrDrew:

just some things won't show in search results

Sorry, that is what I meant.

Google should just shut off search for EU countries and let the public take care of this problem


Blackbird
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reply to Mele20

FYI, realize that the EU court's ruling applies not just to Google, it applies to "search engines". Many of the posts here only refer to Google... this is much broader than just them.
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville



Snowy
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said by Blackbird:

FYI, realize that the EU court's ruling applies not just to Google, it applies to "search engines". Many of the posts here only refer to Google... this is much broader than just them.

Yes, I used "Google" as a catchall for all search engines but it's not a bad idea to have that clarified.


Chubbzie

join:2014-02-11
Greenville, NC
reply to Blackbird

Now, what happens when country A decides to enact a law that is the exact opposite? Given no one the ability to request removal of any information.

Good luck to the EU enforcing this on all these various search engines. Can't wait till Wolfram Alpha gets a notice regarding someone's algorithms. Where does it stop...


Tuulilapsi
Kenosis

join:2002-07-29
Finland
reply to Mele20

Ah yes, another new day, another new stupidity from our overlords at Brussels. Who woulda thunk it?

The problem with this ruling is that "the real world doesn't work like that, James". If you screw up at the local market, people are gonna see it and talk about it later, and soon the bloody city knows what you did. And there's no law that's going to make the people forget about it, if you ask nicely, because hey, you deserve your right to privacy. Why should the internet be any different? You screw up, the internet will talk about it and remember it, like people do.

Also, I rather get the feeling this is part of some nefarious plot to get more internet censorship in Europe.

--
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Software Restriction Policies.



Blackbird
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reply to Chubbzie

said by Chubbzie:

Now, what happens when country A decides to enact a law that is the exact opposite? Given no one the ability to request removal of any information. ... Where does it stop...

What happens is the Balkanizing of the Internet... each nation doing what it feels right, to the extent of its capabilities. In this case, the EU can levy massive fines and/or forbid an "offending" company from doing business within their boundaries and forbid their advertisers from doing business with an "offending" company. A disagreeing nation can do the exact opposite. Result? Balkanization - another term for discretely-quantized chaos.

The alternative? Everybody sits down and hammers out a single worldwide policy that represents a compromise between the interests of the biggest and most powerful governments and industry lobbyists... a compromise that will actually solve nothing, but probably make everything worse with a one-size-fits-nobody solution. In other words describing the usual International arena: business as usual.

Cynical viewpoint? Perhaps... but more likely, a realistic one.
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville


Snowy
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said by Blackbird:

Cynical viewpoint? Perhaps...

Why complicate the issue?
A simple search engine opt-out feature shouldn't require anything more than an opt-out feature.
The efficient implementation of such a system would need discussion but the opt-out feature itself administered through a registry would be easy enough.

I don't have a personal interest in the issue -
A Google search of my proper name returns zero hits on myself.
I just see the matter similar to the option offered by telephone companies of not publishing a subscribers number (which has to do with personal safety as much as the right to be left alone).

I've got to tip my hat to the EU for having the balls to tackle this privacy/personal safety issue.

Edit to add: Am I am optimist? Absolutely.


Blackbird
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said by Snowy:

said by Blackbird:

Cynical viewpoint? Perhaps...

Why complicate the issue?
A simple search engine opt-out feature shouldn't require anything more than an opt-out feature.
The efficient implementation of such a system would need discussion but the opt-out feature itself administered through a registry would be easy enough... Edit to add: Am I am optimist? Absolutely.

I don't think one has to complicate things, they'll get complicated all by themselves. For openers, how would a "simple search engine opt-out feature" actually work to assure that the purported target of a search is, in fact, the actual entity demanding the search results for him/her be blocked - without creating a labyrinth of authentication requirements that themselves might violate more "privacy" than the original search topic they desire to be blocked? Who would administer the "registry", set the rules for authentication, enforce them, umpire protests regarding disagreements, and secure the registry from tampering? And, perhaps most important, who pays for it all?

It would be great if the "search industry" would step forward and itself work out and implement a reasonable approach... but that's certainly not how I'd bet. Hence my cynicism...
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville


Snowy
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said by Blackbird:

For openers, how would a "simple search engine opt-out feature" actually work to assure that the purported target of a search is, in fact, the actual entity demanding the search results for him/her be blocked

That wouldn't require a need to reinvent the wheel.
Opt-out features are already in place that although not perfect provide a model. Spokeo comes to mind first »www.spokeo.com/blog/2011/01/how-···em-works

Also I couldn't believe for a moment that an effective algorithm is beyond the expertise of the search engines.
If they can index it - they can manage it.

said by Blackbird:

- without creating a labyrinth of authentication requirements that themselves might violate more "privacy" than the original search topic they desire to be blocked?

The opt out process could be designed to be invasive, especially if intended to discourage use.
On the other hand it could consist of only data already known to the search engine.

said by Blackbird:

Who would administer the "registry", set the rules for authentication, enforce them, umpire protests regarding disagreements, and secure the registry from tampering?

*IF* enough teeth are built into the regulation the search engines would be wise to effectively self regulate.

said by Blackbird:

And, perhaps most important, who pays for it all?

That's just a cost of doing business.

said by Blackbird:

It would be great if the "search industry" would step forward and itself work out and implement a reasonable approach... but that's certainly not how I'd bet. Hence my cynicism...

Yeah, it will be business as usual until the end of time without legislation with teeth, hence my optimism that the issue is getting attention.

Kearnstd
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reply to Mele20

I do not like this one bit.

The intention is good but the abuse will be horrifying. People who really are scumbags will go and get their life purged from searching so that nobody can dig up dirt without being a true detective.

In the US such a law would be abused by corporations if passed, which thanks to the SCOTUS are people. This means a company being really shady could get its negative reviews purged from a Google search.
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Blackbird
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reply to Snowy

said by Snowy:

said by Blackbird:

For openers, how would a "simple search engine opt-out feature" actually work to assure that the purported target of a search is, in fact, the actual entity demanding the search results for him/her be blocked

That wouldn't require a need to reinvent the wheel.
Opt-out features are already in place that although not perfect provide a model. Spokeo comes to mind first »www.spokeo.com/blog/2011/01/how-···em-works

Also I couldn't believe for a moment that an effective algorithm is beyond the expertise of the search engines.
If they can index it - they can manage it.

The problem in this case of search engines is that the opt-out is not for "account" data of the person/corporation themselves at the search engine involved... it has to do with information appearing that has been placed on other websites and simply 'crawled' and indexed by the search engine. That engine has no way to know which of its 436,055 results for John Smith, Jr. comprise 5,655 entries for a particular John Smith, Jr. who demands his "hits" be removed. Unless, of course, that John Smith, Jr. identifies the 5,655 links specifically in his request... then the engine has to determine whether he, indeed, is the actual John Smith, Jr. that is referred to in each of those specific links before blocking their results. All of which will have no immediate effect for another website somewhere else that directly picks up, copies, and publishes one of the blocked sites' information the next day after the blocking - and hence suddenly pops up in the search engine thereafter, regardless of all the blocking done to that point. On the modern Internet, data is like a virus - it spreads and replicates almost of its own volition.

If data analysis and complainant authentication were easy, the three-letter guys wouldn't have many thousands of analysis employees in multiple facilities worldwide and one of them be building a mega-facility in Utah.
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville


Chubbzie

join:2014-02-11
Greenville, NC
reply to Blackbird

My apologies Blackbird, my response was not targeted at you. Just making general statements and inadvertently replied to your post.



Snowy
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reply to Blackbird

John Smith Jr. is a perfect example of a point of diminishing returns.
With ~208,000,000 Google hits the sheer volume is going to offer John Smith Jr. ample anonymity within a search engine.
If every name were as common there would be little need for this regulation.



Snowy
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reply to Kearnstd

said by Kearnstd:

People who really are scumbags will go and get their life purged from searching so that nobody can dig up dirt without being a true detective.

I'll agree it will take more effort to dig up dirt but what's wrong with improving one's ability to do that?

said by Kearnstd:

In the US such a law would be abused by corporations if passed, which thanks to the SCOTUS are people. This means a company being really shady could get its negative reviews purged from a Google search.

It's not a selective process even if your analysis is correct.


Blackbird
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reply to Snowy

said by Snowy:

John Smith Jr. is a perfect example of a point of diminishing returns.
With ~208,000,000 Google hits the sheer volume is going to offer John Smith Jr. ample anonymity within a search engine.
If every name were as common there would be little need for this regulation.

Indeed, the example name I chose for illustrative purposes was too common... but various less common names would produce the kind of numbers in the example. The point being that for many names, there will be a large (but not enormous) number of hits, of which hundreds or thousands of entries may apply to a particular individual of that name... and the principle remains that it becomes difficult and costly to identify and authenticate those specific entries in order to block just them. That raises major obstacles to any kind of simple registry of persons wanting their names removed from search engines... which is really the point I was trying to make.
--
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -- A. de Tocqueville


Snowy
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said by Blackbird:

That raises major obstacles to any kind of simple registry of persons wanting their names removed from search engines... which is really the point I was trying to make.

It's a valid point too.
But let's not forget that search engines are already connecting data points, creating dossiers that collate data specific to what they believe know is a single identity.
So when John Smith Jr. @123 Walnut St in Sacramento CA opts out they know what data they have that is specific to that identity.

As the name gets less common the point of return is only going to increase.
The challenge here is to have enough motivation for the search engines to cooperate.

OZO
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reply to Blackbird

I think the ruling is not about how to remove "John Smith Jr" form all search queries. It's about removing links to specific document (URI) when any search query is made. In other words, if John Smith Jr asks to do it, he specifies URI (link to the document) and tells why the info in that document is inaccurate, obsolete, damaging his reputation, etc... Then search engines should block all references (links) to it.
--
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Snowy
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said by OZO:

I think the ruling is not about how to remove "John Smith Jr" form all search queries. It's about removing links to specific document (URI) when any search query is made....

Reading the updated link it sure seems as if it deals with with people selectively having links removed as opposed to all links removed - In which case the ruling is idiotic.