Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The "right to be forgotten" spreads its tentacles

It's a while since I wrote about the "right to be forgotten" - you can find my earlier posts on the subject by following that link.

Today's Guardian carries a report that reminds us how it came about and reveals that the courts are increasing its reach:
Ever since the European court ordered Google to delist a 16-year-old article about a bankruptcy, web watchers have wondered how the ‘right to be forgotten’ would evolve. 
Mario Costeja González’s ‘Data and Goliath’ victory in 2014 in Spain has meant that human concepts of fairness are now applied to Google Search, which is subject to European data protection laws. 
But there are now worrying new signs from Europe that the right is being applied directly against news websites and not just search engines.
The author, Athalie Matthews, concludes:
Consequently, in Italy at least, ‘the right to be forgotten’ now has a new meaning: the right to remove inconvenient journalism from archives after two years. 
This surely cannot be right. If it was, everyone would demand deletions from news websites and online journalism would be decimated.

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