“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
It had to happen eventually.
Admittedly we’ve been waiting for a long, long, long time, but finally the bureaucrats seem to have done something sensible.
But hold on!
US citizens, fear not, your bureaucrats are standing firm. They are not included in this minor breakthrough.
It’s all about the snoopers.
In this case Google, who thinks it has the right to collect any and all information it can from people who use its search engine to find things on the internet.
But as a result of a recent European Union Court of Justice ruling, EU citizens have been given the ‘right to be forgotten’. Certain users can now ask search engines to remove results for queries that include their name, where those results are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.”
Google is complying, but reluctantly, making the whole process anything but straightforward and easy. It is launching a service that lets European users ask for personal information to be deleted from the search engine, but on its ‘right to forget’ form users will be asked to provide links to the material they want removed, their country of origin, a reason for their request, AND also attach a valid photo identity.
And keeping its options as open as it can, Google has also said, “In implementing this decision, we will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information. When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information — for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.”
Who defines “the public’s right to know” has not yet been clarified, but I bet you if it is left up to Google what is in the public interest will be remarkably similar to what is in Google’s interest too.
It’s not much, but it’s a start.
Come on all you American bureaucrats, America used to lead the world, what are you waiting for?