France Considers 'Right To Forget' Law, Apparently Not Realizing The Internet Never Forgets

from the good-luck-with-that dept

Hot on the heels of France considering laws to tax successful internet companies to try to prop up unsuccessful entertainment industry companies, comes a report that France is also considering a special "right to forget" law, which would allow anyone to ask that any information about them be deleted after a certain period of time. At first, I though that they meant content created by the person asking for it to be deleted (like emails), but it sounds like they mean any content about a person. So, say, if you did something embarrassing in college, and your friends put pictures of it online, once the time limit for the "right to forget" law kicked in, you could demand every version of that picture be taken offline. Yeah. Like that will work. Trying to suppress information online doesn't work, no matter what law you put in place. I'm reminded of the convicted German murderer, who is demanding that information on his conviction be removed from Wikipedia under a similar type of law. All that did was call a lot more attention to the story.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Andrew F (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    Forgive not Forget

    If you're looking for more reading material on this, Prof. Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger wrote a book about the "virtues of forgetting".
    http://www.amazon.com/Delete-Virtue-Forgetting-Digital-Age/dp/0691138613/ref=wl_it_dp_ o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3W2S92JZ4C656&colid=3IOU5RED7X1MW

    Personally, I think the issue is less about forgetting and more about forgiving. A lot of these right-to-forget advocates underestimate the ability of society to grow more tolerant of dumb-stuff-in-the-past.

    In America, just compare Doug Ginsburg's, whose nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 tanked over marijuana usage in the 70s, with Barack Obama, who did cocaine and marijuana and yet managed to become president.

    As time goes on, almost everyone will have something on the Internet about themselves they wish wasn't there. We'll all learn to live with it, and that's a good thing.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 10:45am

    If this goes global Ted Alvin Klaudt may use it to have Ted Alvin Klaudt's name out of the internet as Ted Alvin Klaudt wanted (after raping his foster daughters).

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    What are they smoking over there? They come across as six year olds playing with dolls making up their own rules in their fantastical worlds:

    Babs: I have made dinner out of plastic, and it has ever been thus!

    GI George: Yum! I shall declare the war against the Fisher-Price Peoples over and so it shall be, since I said so!

    Transformative: I hereby decree that I shall be known from hereon as the Family Dog!

    And if you're part of someone *else's* memories, you can't really pass a LAW stating they HAVE to wipe you out of them...

    Gad, they are so high...

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Can't we just forget about France and move on already?

     

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  5.  
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    Jimr (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 11:36am

    Did France also want a copy the internet on a 3½ floppy to review over the weekend too?

     

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  6.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    "What are they smoking over there?"

    I was thinking the same thing. France is basically becoming the Florida of Europe.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 11:51am

    We do not forget
    We do not forgive
    We are legion

     

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  8.  
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    Comboman (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Politicians make laws

    I suspect this will pass (in France and elsewhere) since politicians make the laws and politicians always have something in their past that they want everyone to forget (infidelity, shady business deals, drug use, DUI, etc).

     

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  9.  
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    a-dub (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    France is always so far ahead in the fashion world, and the same is also true when it comes to France and the internet. Normally, it would be silly to think that anyone could ask for something to be completely deleted off the internet, but this is totally different. It is painfully obvious that France is the first to reach the end of the internet, and in so doing, they have obtained the right to complete control of the internet.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 12:13pm

    The first step to rewriting history...

    is erasing the old history.

     

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  11.  
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    Adolf Hitler, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Forgive AND Forget

    Dear France,

    Thank you for this heartfelt and progressive proposal. I wholeheartedly support this effort, and when enacted, I would like to serve notice that I would like France to "forget" that nasty little occupation that we had back in 1940.

    Hell, as long as we're at it, let's just "forget" the Holocaust, K?

    Sincerely,

    AH

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Burnt Nose, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Forgive AND Forget

    Wow. Blowing hot coffee out of your nose while trying to suppress laughter at work REALLY hurts!!

    I wonder if the inside of your nose blisters...

     

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  13.  
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    SeanG (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 2:03pm

    I've said this in other contexts, but it applies here. 1984 is not a 'how to' manual. I'm sure Orwell would have included the internet if it had existed.

     

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  14.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Re:

    super green agreed

     

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  15.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 2:29pm

    Re:

    super green agreed

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Call me Al (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

    This is frustrating. Everyone has embarrassing stories in their past and that is a good thing as it shows they are real people. The attempts by politicians to whitewash their past is terribly false and disconnects them completely from the people they are supposed to represent.

    We need minor skeletons in the closet of people to force society to be a bit more relaxed and tolerant about the little things.

     

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  17.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 3:34pm

    He Who Must Not Be Named

    ..........

    Wow.

    So if Hitler were alive and languishing in a prison somewhere, he could ask the Internet to 'forget' him?

    Would that make him (and any other historical figure) They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?

    Rofl.

     

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  18.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 8th, 2010 @ 4:32pm

    Re:

    "Can't we just forget about France and move on already?"

    Oh, shut up Adolf...

     

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  19.  
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    robphelan (profile), Jan 10th, 2010 @ 8:11am

    to a certain extent, why wouldn't the ability to request some embarrassing, or even very private, information about oneself be good(if not possible)?

    I'm not talking about politicians/public figures doing cocaine, i'm talking about Joe-computer-user who sees that someone has listed all his current/previous addresses and phone numbers.

    What if someone had posted pics/info of your KID?

    Personally, i'd like to request my account info, including credit card info, be deleted from a handful of merchant sites - such as those involved with the "web loyalty" scam that surfaced - http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10399880-93.html

     

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  20.  
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    robphelan (profile), Jan 10th, 2010 @ 8:34am

    btw, here's a link with the full list of merchants at the bottom of the page

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-10426214-261.html?tag=mncol;posts

     

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  21.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 10th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re:

    I'm not talking about politicians/public figures doing cocaine, i'm talking about Joe-computer-user who sees that someone has listed all his current/previous addresses and phone numbers.

    Unlisted numbers? If they were in the phone book, what is the problem with this?

    What if someone had posted pics/info of your KID?

    If the law were only about minors, there probably wouldn't be much controversy (but it still wouldn't work). It sounds like this proposed law would apply to anyone, public or private, adult or child.

     

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  22.  
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    DTS, Jan 10th, 2010 @ 3:47pm

    Re: He Who Must Not Be Named

    > So if Hitler were alive and languishing in a prison somewhere, he could ask the Internet to 'forget' him?

    Why not? Current laws already allow dead people to claim benefits from copyrights.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    ghjgj, Jan 15th, 2010 @ 2:28am

    Re: Forgive not Forget

    I had bought some BJD items of [Dollmansion],that's gteat! I received the mail of them, share to you.

    We are BJD (ball joint dolls) accessories manufacturer in Hong Kong, China, our brand [dollmansion]. Here are many new accessories for bjd dolls; Shoes, Wig, Hat, Bag, Clothing, Furniture, Bird cage, Watch, Musical instrument and so on. Welcome to visit our site.

    [dollmansion] primary objective: Providing customers with high quality products, Customer satisfaction.

    www.dollmansion.net

    www dollmansion net

    info # dollmansion.net


    Hope you find the product you are interested in it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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