Germany Considers Setting Up A Special Court To Determine Who Can Demand To Have Embarassing Histories Deleted From Google
from the because-that-will-end-well dept
And, within weeks, it's already reached the point that Germany is looking into setting up a special court to review such cases and determine what embarrassing histories Google will need to delete, and which embarrassing histories you'll need to learn to live with people finding on Google. Because... this is the ridiculous world we now live in (for those of you in Europe for now). At the very least, to some extent this can be seen as marginally positive. The idea behind creating this is to actually decrease the impact of the ruling, and to limit the ability for people to delete their histories. But, just the fact that you might need to set up a special court for this sounds insane.
Following a European Union court decision this month granting consumers the “right to be forgotten,” the Interior Ministry in Berlin would seek to establish “dispute-settlement mechanisms” for consumers who file so-called take-down requests. If search providers introduce automatic deletion, public information would be at risk, the ministry said.It seems some folks in Berlin recognize that public information might be at risk over this situation, but it's still troubling that a court gets to decide what public information is "legitimate" and which is not. And that, really, is the problem with all of this. While defenders of the "right to be forgotten" and the EUCJ decision keep referring to it as a "privacy" right, it is no such thing. If it was about private information, they'd have a point. But it's not. It's about public information.
“Politicians, prominent figures and other persons who are reported about in public would be able to hide or even delete reports they find unpleasant,” it said in a statement. The ministry suggested that the removal of information shouldn’t be left to company algorithms.
It is silly to argue that public information should be forced to be made private after a certain point, and even more ridiculous to then put the burden on a third party to make that public information private. At the very least, having a special court slightly limits that burden, but just the fact that such a court would even be thought necessary should show how ridiculous and dangerous the original ruling is for public discourse.