Right to Be Forgotten in Google: How Europe Is Fighting to Be Deleted

If you’re in America, the Internet being the information superhighway often seems like it’s synonymous to “free information for all”.  In Europe, on the other hand, the main push is heading toward the “right to be deleted” – the ability to delete all information about oneself on the internet.

This “right” has been approved in Spain, which led to Google deleting more than 80 people’s out of date search results (including doctors getting malpractice suit news coverage deleted once acquitted).  Google’s legal counsel has actually published information about the case on his personal blog (Peter Fleischer: Privacy), which contains his personal views on the matter and not Google’s official position. Even so, the contents of the blog is a worthwhile take on the privacy movement being approved to allow people to an “Easy Delete” button of sorts, where users are being given the option to keep things private and away from the public eye.

Given that the Internet has become a venue seemingly giving a license to people in having unlimited access to other people’s private information, privacy movements such as this are moving forward to attempt to strengthen internet information security.

Fleischer, Google’s counsel, talks about the 8 points concerning the “right to be forgotten”.  His concepts include how to make yourself unsearchable online, how tech giants retain your activities online and how long they are kept, and the expiration date of the information about you.

Fleischer also asks questions in his writing and leaves them open-ended for readers as conversation points.  He also specifically points out the question regarding the legal issues in Italy, where Google executives, including him, are facing charges of invasion of privacy because of YouTube users.

The write-up is worth reading.  It helps readers understand difficult to understand concept into layman’s terms.

In closing, the European Commission will be the one to decide whether the “right to be forgotten” will be approved or not. If the resolution of this issue will be acceptable to Google and other tech giants still remains a question to be answered.

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