Thursday, August 6, 2015

‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Online Could Spread; New York Times, 8/5/15

Farhad Manjoo, New York Times; ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Online Could Spread:
"Proponents of the law also reacted skeptically to the claim that the right to be forgotten would be used by other countries to force content restrictions beyond those involving privacy.
“That’s nonsense,” said Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group. He argued there were ways to limit access to private information that would not conflict with free speech, and he noted that Google already had a process for global removal of some identifiable private information, like bank account numbers, social security numbers and sexually explicit images uploaded without the subject’s consent (known as “revenge porn.”).
“A global implementation of the fundamental right to privacy on the Internet would be a spectacular achievement,” said Mr. Rotenberg. “For users, it would be a fantastic development.”
Mr. Zittrain, of Harvard, pointed out that Google also removes content globally to abide by copyright law. When Google receives a takedown notice for linking to infringing content, it removes those links from all of its sites across the world. Couldn’t it do the same for private information?
The trouble with comparing copyright law to privacy, though, is that the United States and Europe broadly agree on what constitutes copyrighted content, but private information is far more nebulous."

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