Posited “right to be forgotten online”

by Walter Olson on January 29, 2012

This idea, gaining some currency in Europe, would require government to get deeply into the control of privately published information content [Adam Thierer, Scott Greenfield, PC World]

{ 2 comments }

1 Greg 01.29.12 at 11:09 pm

When the European Commission can’t clean up the outlier colonies like the United States and the island of criminals…

Comedy gold

2 Hugo S. Cunningham 01.30.12 at 12:29 pm

Two of the least appealing claimants of a European “right to be forgotten” include a German murderer suing Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Werl%C3%A9_and_Manfred_Lauber
and a Spanish plastic surgeon who worries about a 20-year-old unfavorable newspaper article, suing Google but *not* the newspaper:
http://searchengineland.com/google-confronting-spains-right-to-be-forgotten-67440

As a compromise on Google, I suggest a “right-of-reply” link that would be displayed together with the link someone doesn’t like. On his right-of-reply page, for example, the Spanish plastic surgeon could point out that the newpaper article is 20 years old and that in more recent times he enjoys a excellent reputation. (Or he could dispute the accuracy of the article itself.) A single right-of-reply page would suffice for all the charges and links the author wishes to answer.

I have more sympathy for a “right to be forgotten” in straightforward “invasion of privacy” cases, but share skepticism that it can be made workable.

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