BBC Has 12 More Articles Shoved Down The Google Memory Hole Thanks To 'Right To Be Forgotten'

from the gone-but-not-forgotten dept

The European Court of Justice's awful "right to be forgotten" ruling is continuing to memory hole perfectly factual stories -- but publications like the BBC are bringing them back to light. Google has informed the BBC of 12 more stories that it is removing from its index thanks to requests from individuals who'd prefer that their history no longer be accessible to the public. While Google does not reveal who is making the request, it's often not too difficult to figure it out -- even though Google is now warning the BBC that sometimes the requester's name may only be in the comments.

Two stories relate to the high-profile case of a British woman found guilty of running "one of Europe's biggest prostitution rings" in 2003.

Other stories taken down covered a wide range of incidents. Google removed a 2002 story concerning a dispute between two Somerset families over the ownership of a wire-haired terrier called Wellie.

Another removed story concerns a car thief branded an "idiot" by his own barrister, while yet another features an 18-year-old Bristol student convicted of drink-driving after crashing his Mini into the steps of his university campus.

Some of the other listed, but memory-holed articles:
  • A man cleared of a stabbing in London in 2010
  • The jailing of a former Daily Mail employee who threatened to hack the newspaper in 2000
  • A 2009 diary entry from the BBC's then-Jerusalem correspondent Tim Franks on the merits of hummus
  • A 2005 page of appeals from those looking for family members missing after the Asia tsunami
  • A selection of readers' comments on the terror threat posed by al-Qaeda in 2005
  • I'm still trying to figure out what good this effort accomplishes. Deleting factual things makes no sense. Allowing people to go back and erase perhaps embarrassing things from their past may have a visceral appeal, but it's just silly. People do embarrassing things that they later regret. It's a part of life. Part of maturing is being able to admit that you did silly things in the past and that you learned from them. Trying to disappear them down the memory hole seems to highlight how an immature person remained immature.

    Filed Under: europe, right to be forgotten
    Companies: bbc, google


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    1. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2014 @ 10:53pm

      Re: Re: Re:

      It also covers dossiers built up out of semi-public and public information, things like credit reporting agencies and so on, the logic being that assembling all the information allowed inferences to be drawn about people's private information, and because it created an even greater asymmetry of information between individuals and businesses. The news reports are themselves protected (at the EU level, some countries have "clean slate" laws that restrict publishing information about spent convictions), but the search engines' records are not.

      The rules didn't really anticipate the importance of search engines.

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