Someone Convinced Google To Delist Our Entire Right To Be Forgotten Tag In The EU For Searches On Their Name

from the i-wonder-who-that-might-be... dept

We received notification this week that Google has delisted our entire right to be forgotten tag page, based on (of course) a right to be forgotten request under the GDPR in the EU. To be clear, this only applies when someone searches the name in question -- which was not shared with us. I am... perplexed about this. I understand that some people may not want us talking about their ongoing efforts to rewrite history and hide their past. However, you would think that if these articles don't actually talk about their historical scams that are very much a part of the public record, and instead focus on their very current and ongoing abuse of the "right to be forgotten" process, they should be allowed to remain up.

The very fact that the tag being delisted when searching for this unnamed individual is the "right to be forgotten" tag shows that whoever this person is, they recognize that they are not trying to cover up the record of, say, an FTC case against them from... oh, let's just say 2003... but rather are now trying to cover up their current effort to abuse the right to be forgotten process.

Anyway, in theory (purely in theory, of course) if someone in the EU searched for the name of anyone, it might be helpful to know if the Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection once called him a "spam scammer" who "conned consumers in two ways." But, apparently, in the EU, that sort of information is no longer useful. And you also can't find out that he's been using the right to be forgotten process to further cover his tracks. That seems unfortunate, and entirely against the supposed principle behind the "right to be forgotten." No one is trying to violate anyone's "privacy" here. We're talking about public court records, and an FTC complaint and later settlement on a fairly serious crime that took place not all that long ago. That ain't private information. And, even more to the point, the much more recent efforts by that individual to then hide all the details of this public record.

And of course, plenty of our right to be forgotten stories don't mention this particular individual at all -- so it seems pretty silly to then have them all blocked, but this is the future the EU apparently wanted. Just the fact that the tag itself was around "right to be forgotten" probably should have tipped off the Google reviewer that perhaps this was not a legit request, but hey, the EU's gotta EU and I won't goolnick around and complain about whatever decisions the company makes.

Filed Under: censorship, eu, free speech, gdpr, right to be forgotten, search


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 8:59am

    No really, take a few more swings at that hydra...

    You'd think by now they'd have realized that attempting this stunt against TD will just result in another article going up calling them on their repeated attempts to rewrite and whitewash their history with regards to both their original action and their response to all reporting on them past that, but I suppose some people are a little slow to pick up things as complex as 'that tactic has failed every single time before, it probably won't work the next time either.'

    Their repeated attempts to bury their history has sent one message anyway, and that is they are almost certainly not sorry for what they did that got them in such trouble the first time around, as this desperate and repeated attempts to hide history does not strike me as the sort of action of a person who has accepted that they screwed up and are working to move past it, but rather comes across as someone unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions only interested in making sure that people aren't able to learn about those actions.

    Still, I suppose idiots with zero-pattern recognition do result in entertaining article like this one, so at least they've accomplished one positive thing in their lives.

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

    • identicon
      Pixelation, 27 Mar 2020 @ 12:20pm

      Re: No really, take a few more swings at that hydra...

      Are you saying the Goolnick's are members of Hydra?

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 28 Mar 2020 @ 1:15am

        Re: Re: No really, take a few more swings at that hydra...

        Nah, pretty sure Hydra was actually competent, or at least a hell of a lot more competent than these would-be history whitewashing idiots.

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

  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 9:17am

    You'd think by now they'd have realized that attempting this stunt against TD will just result in another article going up calling them on their repeated attempts to rewrite and whitewash their history with regards to both their original action and their response to all reporting on them

    It's almost as if they are trying to make it the Right Not To Be Forgotten

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2020 @ 9:21am

    Hmmm would be amusing ironic (and impossible) a nation state 'forgot' that a certain house had a registered owner (and was not state property).

    Of course that assumes that home ownership is a thing that actually happened.

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

  • identicon
    christenson, 27 Mar 2020 @ 9:56am

    Boundaries of private and public???

    I think we've all done a few things we aren't particularly proud of, and some of us were unlucky enough to have to deal with the criminal justice system over it.

    How do we set the boundary between which transgressions remain private and which public?? "Expunging the record" has almost no meaning when there are hundreds of record holders.

    Here's my hard, real-life example. I have a brother who spent a year behind bars for selling cocaine. Since then, he turned his life around, married, got good work, and now has a grandkid, but his kids almost certainly don't know about that chapter of his life.

    Does there exist a just privacy solution here in the environment where almost everyone has a computer that remembers almost everything and the streisand effect is strong??

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:27am

      The so-called right to be forgotten is better known as the right of erasure. While I sympathize with people who’d rather have their sordid pasts memory holed, the fact that someone wants their past memory holed should give anyone pause to ask why.

      Imagine if this “right” were applied to, say, convicted rapist Brock Turner. How fair would it be to the woman Turner raped, and to women who might want to know about that in the future, if Turner could successfully petition Google to erase any links to articles about how he raped someone?

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

      • icon
        Zane (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 12:05am

        Re:

        It's not an absolute right. They weigh up a whole range of factors. Rape offenders are almost certainly unlikely to be delisted. Victims of rape, or those accused and who were found not guilty are more likely to benefit. The passage of time is a key indicator, but only in less serious offences. Remember it is only delisting the result in association with a particular name

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

        • identicon
          ROGS, 4 Apr 2020 @ 8:41am

          Planet of the Rapes

          Some estimates say that 270,000 rapes are reported in prisons every year. That's just what is reported.

          This generations fascists were mobilized against heterosexuals, not rape. I am sure the bankers are chuckling at what a windfall their deaths will be.

          And as you see, they will argue every slippery slope argument, as long as it gives them power, which they equate with moral right.

          How many black/LatinX/othered men (and it is primarily males who suffer these indignities) cannot get jobs because of allegations of one kind or another, and embarrassing mug shots one mouse click away? THe etire DVIC was established to create those exact types of records.

          This works very similarly to how white indentured servants and poor white trash were given privilege over blacks, and held on to those biases and false rationale' to the point of civil war, and then for one hundred more years until civil rights.

          The same rationale applied: the slaves were a genetically and morally inferior class, who need special papers to travel around.

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

    • icon
      R.H. (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:29am

      Re: Boundaries of private and public???

      Unfortunately, no there doesn't. Even if the internet didn't exist, if your brother's arrest or trial was covered in the local newspapers at all, someone would be able to go through the archives and find it.

      The amount of information we have access to today requires us to be sensible consumers of information. If I'm looking someone up on Google and I see that they have a drug conviction from twenty years ago, that's not going to be a problem for me because, assuming that they haven't been in trouble since then, I know that they're on the straight and narrow now. It might come up in the interview but, in that case, they just need to have a good answer for the question.

      In general, we shouldn't blame the indexers of information for how people may use that information. Don't forget that the EU's "Right to be Forgotten" only targets indexers and not the original articles. In fact, for this reason, it might be a better idea to use google.com rather than Google homepages local to the EU to search for people.

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

      • identicon
        christenson, 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:35am

        Re: Re: Boundaries of private and public???

        The point is that effectively, by obscurity, that record has been erased. How many can simultaneously search the soon-to-be-lost newspaper morgue??? And on the side of wanting it forgotten, well, I can think of employers far less considerate than you, so let me have my little panic. And of course, think of the (now adult) children!

        lol

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:56am

          I can think of employers far less considerate than you

          Do you believe employers shouldn’t have the right to know that someone they might hire has a criminal record?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2020 @ 11:24am

            Re:

            Do you believe employers shouldn’t have the right to know that someone they might hire has a criminal record?

            Do you believe that all employers will continue reading, and see that the conviction was overturned (Brady violations happen. False witness happens too.) but not expunged? Do you think they will all understand the nuances involved?

            Do you think the person looking for employment would have any recourse? Do you think they should?

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 5:52pm

              I’m not sure I can come up with a solution that would give a potential employee the “right” to move on from their mistake and still allow employers to research the factual criminal record of that potential employee.

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

            • identicon
              Rocky, 27 Mar 2020 @ 8:00pm

              Re: Re:

              Do you believe that an employer shouldn't look into a potential employees history? Even if the potential employee has a recurring pattern of for example criminal behavior that he or she have tried to hide by using RTBF?

              And if as you say, someone has had their conviction overturned that information is also blackholed if they go the RTBF route.

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

              • icon
                Zane (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 12:45am

                Re: Re: Re:

                In the ideal world a 20 year old drug conviction, wouldn't matter at a job interview. But the reality is many employers are not equipped with the knowledge to assess risk, and will just go for the other candidate who does not have such a past. Indeed, sometimes it is just about concern of reputation with customers. In the UK many convictions are considered spent after a certain period of time, so for most jobs the person doesn't have to declare it (it's different for jobs with children and the vunerable etc). They can legitimately say they do not have any past convictions. The thinking is that you are considered rehabilitated, and it is recognised that having to declare a criminal record means the person is unlikley to secure a job. We know that people who do not find employment after conviction are more likely to reoffend. So there is a public interest in enuring that people who have been rehabilitated can start a more normal life. Many of these cases are about older minor convictions, or cases were the person was found not guilty, or later appealed and the conviction quashed. For people who were convicted, and their conviction is spent. Having the old conviction appear right of the top in a search engine undermines the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, undermining their right not to declare their past spent conviction. This results in more unemployed ex-offenders, effects them and their families financially - meaning a bigger burden on the state. We should also remember that search engines have deisgned their ranking to prioritise their ranking in certain ways, so it's not a case that their is no responsibility on their part. regarding the "recurring pattern of criminal history", it's much less likely that Google/Information commissioner would agree to delist then - as the right is not absolute.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:33am

      Re: Boundaries of private and public???

      If his kids don't know about his past, and that's how he wants it, it sounds like the current system is working fine. Is that what you meant to demonstrate with that example?

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

      • identicon
        Christenson, 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:46am

        Re: Re: Boundaries of private and public???

        It is meant as a real-world, commonplace example with all the messy moral complications involved. It is a chance to ask if there is meaning to the idea of privacy in the first place.

        Goolnik is clearcut. My brother or yours not so much!

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:57am

          Your brother made a mistake. Good on him for cleaning himself up after that mistake, but he still made it. He shouldn’t have the right to memory hole that mistake because it embarasses him.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2020 @ 6:40pm

            Re:

            You are such an idiot who has no room to judge him you moron.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Mar 2020 @ 5:04am

          Re: Re: Re: Boundaries of private and public???

          "...if there is meaning to the idea of privacy in the first place."

          Once you've been convicted of a crime in court that is public information. Not private. You are arguing an example case which, since the advent of civilization, everyone has agreed to not be an issue of privacy but a cornerstone of judicial transparency.

          The question "why is/has this man spent time in prison?" should never be answered with "None of your business, citizen".

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Mar 2020 @ 3:31am

      Re: Boundaries of private and public???

      "I have a brother who spent a year behind bars for selling cocaine. Since then, he turned his life around, married, got good work, and now has a grandkid, but his kids almost certainly don't know about that chapter of his life."

      Good on him.

      But no one gets to rewrite history and the lesson of "When I was younger I was dumb and did dumb things for which I'm still paying" is one of those things kids today need to learn.

      "Does there exist a just privacy solution here in the environment where almost everyone has a computer..."

      No privacy solution for public information exists, whether there's a computer or not. It never did.
      Only recently, with the internet and search engines, did certain idiot politicians try to obfuscate public information out of the public domain.

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

  • icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:11am

    May I suggest

    That Techdirt reposts the same articles under another tag?

    Say "abuse of right to be forgotten"?

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:23am

    Inmates Run the Prison

    This reminds me of the Techdirt Comments section, where the Inmates run the prison.

    The flagged comments do not show up in a search, they are forgotten.

    Potty mouth comments stay up, "My Dog Died" type of comments stay up.

    Character assassination stays up.

    Some legitimate comments, with gov. links, that are on topic, are flagged.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:28am

      Whining about how people flag your posts because they suck doesn’t make your posts any better.

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

    • identicon
      Christenson, 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:43am

      Re: Inmates Run the Prison

      One, Techdirt is in no sense a jail and in no sense the gubmn't. It's a fact of life.
      Two, the vast majority of comments tend to get forgotten, even when they win prizes for being funny or insightful. It's a fact of life.
      Three, the commentariat makes no guarantees they don't dislike you or your posts sufficiently to get them tossed. It's a fact of life.
      Four, this post right here risks getting tossed. It's a fact of life.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:51am

      Re: Inmates Run the Prison

      "The flagged comments do not show up in a search, they are forgotten."

      No, they're seen by anyone who reads the article and clicks unhide.

      Are... you so delusional that you think people are searching for the contents of your comments rather than the article?

      "Character assassination stays up."

      Well, we do our best to stop your more insane comments from staying unflagged, but a few inevitably slip through.

      "Some legitimate comments, with gov. links, that are on topic, are flagged."

      Usually because you're an insane spamming asshole. Cut down on that if you can.

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

  • identicon
    TheDumberHalf, 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:29am

    The right to abuse GDPR in comments

    I'm curious to know If I can de-list Disney videos from YouTube by posting information from your tag.

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

    • icon
      R.H. (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:34am

      Re: The right to abuse GDPR in comments

      That's actually a good question. I wonder if posting information about Goolnik with links in random places on the internet would get them delisted. I'm tempted to add an unlinked page with that information to a random website I control and wait for Google to crawl it to see what happens.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2020 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re: The right to abuse GDPR in comments

        Google can't crawl it if it is unlinked. That's kinda how crawling works.

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

    • icon
      Zane (profile), 31 Mar 2020 @ 10:22pm

      Re: The right to abuse GDPR in comments

      I'm curious to know If I can de-list Disney videos from YouTube by posting information from your tag.

      If you put Goonink's name and details of his controversial past on a Disney youtube. Then he could do a RTBF for this, and have them deslisted if it was agreed to violate his rights. But only search results that come up with Goolnik's name would be delisted. So the Disney videos will still come up if someone is searching for Disney videos, and indeed in any other circumstances. After looking through this thread, I'm not sure many people actually understand the limited scope of RTBF

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 11:10am

    Is a fish a

    Flounder?
    Is a Duck, a Goose, a swan, a bird?
    Can we Pluck a duck?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2020 @ 1:46pm

    The very fact that the tag being delisted when searching for this unnamed individual is the "right to be forgotten" tag shows that whoever this person is, they recognize that they are not trying to cover up the record of, say, an FTC case against them from... oh, let's just say 2003... but rather are now trying to cover up their current effort to abuse the right to be forgotten process.

    Just like DMCA takedowns, it's not "abuse" when the system is working exactly as designed. It's not about privacy and it never was; the whole thing was created to help people cover up their sleazy misdeeds, and now they're doing exactly what it was intended to enable them to do.

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

  • identicon
    Thomas Edward Harris Goolnik, 27 Mar 2020 @ 5:04pm

    Right to be Forgotten

    Good thing I'm nothing to do with the people mentioned in this article about spammers/scammers, https://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/12/business/3-web-sites-closed-in-spam-inquiry.html

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2020 @ 1:08pm

    Recusion Denial?

    Are you saying that the right to be forgotten doesn't have a right to be forgotten?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2020 @ 5:59pm

    Thank fluck that the UK left the EU, and all it's stupid rulings behind.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Mar 2020 @ 5:16am

      Re:

      "Thank fluck that the UK left the EU..."

      Not quite yet. You can count on the EU to put the screws on the UK as hard as our benevolent lords and masters in Brussels possibly can, as warning unto others. And that includes the UK being heavily penalized whenever it tries to do business with any of its closest partners.

      "...and all it's stupid rulings behind."

      Unfortunately the UK has worse rulings by far. If "inept leadership" was the reason you want out of the EU then the alternative you're falling back on isn't the preferable choice.

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

    • icon
      Zane (profile), 31 Mar 2020 @ 10:14pm

      Re:

      Thank fluck that the UK left the EU, and all it's stupid rulings behind.

      The UK was part of the EU, so the ruling were as much the responsibility of the UK as any other EU country. Regardless, for UK cases it is the ICO and if needed the UK courts, are the ones that make the rulings. For RTBF, this was a landmark judgement:
      https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/nt1-Nnt2-v-google-2018-Eewhc-799-QB.pdf

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

  • icon
    Zane (profile), 28 Mar 2020 @ 11:58pm

    So basically you have been trying to undermine Right to be forgotten law, by posting the guys name in articles about right to be forgotten. It sounds like they have only unlisted your page in relation to his name, so not really an impact on you at all. Sweden ruled recently that Google shouldn't be notifying webmasters of delisting requests. They gave a number of reasons, and one was that webmasters would do what you did and repost information on another page, and as such undermine the process. But they also noted by informing the webmaster, Google is breaking GDPR by passing on the name (albeit) indirectly about the person making the request. They also noted that webmasters are not in the position to know the details of why legally the search engines should delist. The test for a webmaster to remove an article for GDPR reasons is obviously much different than a test for a search engine to delist results based on a persons name. In most cases, it will not be relevant for the webmaster to know. Indeed often webmasters know very little about the accuracy of their content, they have simply copied it from elsewhere. I'm all for freedom of information, but it's often not in the public interest for web pages to be ranked right at the top against a persons name, when they can provide a legal basis that the information is inaccurate, out of date, and out of proportion. The little guy needs to have some rights to be able to continue with his life, and the RTBF gives some balance to this. Actions like this site, trying to circumvent the law, are likley to just lead to more draconian measures in order to protect peoples rights

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

    • identicon
      TFG, 29 Mar 2020 @ 5:43am

      Re:

      Where is the protection of the right of people to know that they are dealing with a shady criminal?

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

      • icon
        Zane (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 6:35am

        Re: Re:

        Depends on your definition of "shady criminals". Of course many people using RTBF are people who were found "not guilty", or people who were found guilty, but later had their sentence quashed. So perfectly innocent. But all the public see is the original article, and assume it to be the most current information. Obviously there are lots of "shady criminals" who never get caught, their cases do not make the media, or have such a common name that they never rank very highly in search results anyway. So maybe a web search isn't the best way to know. Relevant employers where disclosure is needed can do criminal records checks, and these will be more accurate and current than a basic web search. The same for relevant bodies were accreditation is needed like in the financial services.
        Yes, a lot of the cases are probably people who have a past convictions. In the UK for some crimes your conviction is considered spent after a set period of time, so you legally can say you do not have a criminal record if your conviction is considered spent. But if there is some decades old article mentioning it, then that right is trampled over. Research shows that the chance of someone reoffending after a number of years is no greater than a person who has never been convicted of a criminal offence. This probably varies between certain offences, but I would query whether a persons past is really the best method to rely on. And what about peoples rights to not have a larger tax bill because there are a whole chunk of people who will never get a job because the likes of Google who are more concerned with their advertising revenue. We end up all paying the unemployment benefit, housing benefit etc. because someone can't get a job as the old conviction is mentioned in a web search. Here in the UK the reporting standards of criminal cases is particularly poor, often sensationalised, and some downright lies. And you often see other sites taking the original article and exaggerating further. So I'm sceptical that a web search is really a good way to find out about a persons history, and I would query whether we all need to know such info, and if we do if we need to see it at the top of the search listings 20 years later. RTBF is simply a balancing act, where the question is asked about whether or not there is a public interest in search results coming up for specific names. It takes into account the accuracy of the info, how long ago it took place, the seriousness of the offence, the persons role in public life, as well as whether it is outdated etc.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      So basically you have been trying to undermine Right to be forgotten law

      Personally I would applaud any such effort.

      I'm all for freedom of information

      You can't be "all for freedom of information" and also in favor of RTBF. They are diametrically opposed. Much of your defense of the law shows clearly why it is at best incompatible with the US Constitution and American ideas about freedom of expression, and at worst a terrible idea.

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

      • icon
        Zane (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 11:13am

        Re: Re:

        You can't be "all for freedom of information" and also in favor of RTBF

        Well, neither right is absolute. RTBF is a test to balance the use of an individuals personal data against the concept of public interest. We all need to ask ourselves if we would be happy if we had been wrongly arrested for say flashing in a public park. Had our picture and address on various websites, probably exaggerated the seriousness. Even if charges were dropped, webmasters refuses to remove article, or even note that charges had been dropped. Would you think that freedom of information was more important than your ability to get a job for the next 20 years, and fear for your safety?

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

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 11:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Would I be happy about it" is the wrong question. Of course I wouldn't. That shouldn't give me the right to interfere with others' freedoms. When people have liberty, bad things will happen. The answer is not to take away liberty.

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

          • icon
            Zane (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 12:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Again, it's the balance neither freedom of information or privacy rights are absolute. You're only thinking about the freedom of people to read, which in many cases are inaccurate or misleading accounts. But you seem to give no thought to the freedom for the individual to make a living and live without fear, due to what can be an unfair article about an event that they may be unfairly implicated in. By denying an individual to simply have web results linked to their name removed which may be inaccuarate or outdated information, you are denying their liberty. It is balancing those competing rights, sometimes obvious and sometimes not so much.

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

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 12:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You're only thinking about the freedom of people to read

              Mostly the freedom to speak.

              which in many cases are inaccurate or misleading accounts.

              Yes, people should have the freedom to both speak/write and hear/read inaccurate and misleading information.

              But you seem to give no thought to the freedom for the individual to make a living and live without fear

              Where I live, those are not freedoms that are guaranteed by law, nor should they be in my opinion. I'm coming from a US perspective, where we believe that what should be protected is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not happiness, but its pursuit. Finding it is up to each individual.

              By denying an individual to simply have web results linked to their name removed which may be inaccuarate or outdated information, you are denying their liberty.

              I disagree, because I don't consider that liberty. I'm still free to do as I wish even if there is inaccurate information about me on the internet. My liberty has not been curtailed.

              It is balancing those competing rights, sometimes obvious and sometimes not so much.

              I don't approve of the right to control what other people say.

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

              • identicon
                ROGS, 4 Apr 2020 @ 10:56am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                If anyone wonders what a privileged, classicist, racist, deluded, half baked opinion about rights looks like, try this:

                I'm still free to do as I wish even if there is inaccurate information about me on the internet. My liberty has not been curtailed

                Obviously, you are o.k. with the 50% of African American males who will be arrested by age 23, and forever locked into shit websites that post mugshots?

                https://www.huffpost.com/entry/half-of-blacks-arrested-23_n_4549620

                Or maybe, you are one of those who believes that somehow, if someone is arrested and databased against their will, and against due process, and without trial( Mugshot databases merely exploit this loophole), they deserved it or did something to provoke it?

                Lower tier Americans are disproportionately vilified as a rite of passage into organized society, with little to no basic due process rights.

                And, not unlike slavery, their faces are not even their own, once conscripted into the database, and its accompanying slander by proxy?

                So, nasch, once again, I ask you: are you a fascist, a Nazi,or a ziocon? Its OK to admit you are all of those.

                Whats your real name, you POS?

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

                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 4 Apr 2020 @ 12:56pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Obviously, you are o.k. with the 50% of African American males who will be arrested by age 23, and forever locked into shit websites that post mugshots?

                  Have fun knocking down that straw man. I find it strange that you look at that problem and apparently think the best approach is to tear down the first amendment so that people don't find about the arrests, rather than actually fixing the problem of so many young men of color getting arrested in the first place.

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

                  • icon
                    Zane (profile), 5 Apr 2020 @ 4:37am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I find it strange that you look at that problem and apparently think the best approach is to tear down the first amendment so that people don't find about the arrests, rather than actually fixing the problem of so many young men of color getting arrested in the first place.

                    Some arrests will be perfectly legitimate, even if they do not lead to a charge, so the problem will affect people regardless. Officers have to make that decision based on the facts available to them at that time. But yes agree, it would be better that innocent people are not arrested in the first place, and unfair arrests are not skewed to certain demographics. But back in the real world, that's not going to happen - and when it affects peoples ability to work and leave their life - then it is an issue that any fair society should address. It doesn't necesserily have to be RTBF, you could make it free for the general public to sue people who disseminate inaccurate information, and give large fines - I'm not sure that's what you would want though. I'm not familiar with your first amendment, but I'd query if it was written today if it would be worded in the same way in todays information society. We change our laws when our world changes, it is called progress. The RTBF is rather light weight, the speech isn't affected, it's still there on individual sites - it just acknowledges that in limited circumstances that it may not be fair for search engines to rank it in a certain way under a persons name. Even with a successful RTBF delisting, it is still much easier for people to access information about individuals than it was say 20 years ago.

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

                    • icon
                      nasch (profile), 5 Apr 2020 @ 8:28am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      But back in the real world, that's not going to happen

                      I reject your fatalism. It won't be easy or fast, but I see no reason to think that this problem cannot be solved, or that we should just give up and resort to censorship instead of solving it.

                      It doesn't necesserily have to be RTBF, you could make it free for the general public to sue people who disseminate inaccurate information, and give large fines - I'm not sure that's what you would want though.

                      It would really depend on the details. I wouldn't approve of the large fines, because that would make it risky just to report on anyone since if you got anything wrong you could be on the hook for a big fine. Injunctive relief (taking the content down) should be sufficient to meet the goal of removing the harm to the individual without the chilling effects of potential large fines. Also I'm not sure exactly what you mean by general public, but I don't think it would be necessary or a good idea to allow anyone to sue about anyone. If John Doe has harmful inaccurate information published about him, let John Doe sue.

                      I'm not familiar with your first amendment, but I'd query if it was written today if it would be worded in the same way in todays information society.

                      It would probably be worded differently if written today, but - pardon my cynicism - because powerful lobbying groups would get their hands on it, and not because of anything to do with information technology.

                      We change our laws when our world changes, it is called progress.

                      That's what our Supreme Court is for. It interprets the Constitution in an ongoing fashion.

                      The RTBF is rather light weight, the speech isn't affected, it's still there on individual sites - it just acknowledges that in limited circumstances that it may not be fair for search engines to rank it in a certain way under a persons name.

                      The search results are also speech, so the US government (and US state and local governments) cannot censor them barring extremely narrow circumstances that would not be met in a case like RTBF.

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

                • icon
                  Zane (profile), 5 Apr 2020 @ 12:31am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Yes I agree, I found the statement "I'm still free to do as I wish even if there is inaccurate information about me on the internet. My liberty has not been curtailed" as beyond rediculous. Especially as we know inaccurate or simply out of date info coming up in search results prevents people from gaining employment and renting accommodation. What a warped definition of the meaning of liberty. When you start having such an absolutist interpretation of certain rights, with the exclusion of other rights and ignoring the reality of everyday circumstances then you basically go down the extremism path.
                  As you note this mostly affects certain demographics, and often the poorest in society. The rich have the funds to fight these sites through legal channel, or pay for reputation management. RTBF just gives normal people a chance to live in a normal life.
                  Google routinely delists info in the USA too, such as sites giving out passport numbers, credit card details, so it's happening anywayto some extent. RTBF is simply a balance of different rights, designed for the reality of the information age, it's not absolute, and freedom of expression will also we be considered.

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

                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 5 Apr 2020 @ 8:18am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Especially as we know inaccurate or simply out of date info coming up in search results prevents people from gaining employment and renting accommodation.

                    I think there is starting to be some positive change on that. The solution is to get to a place where an arrest or conviction isn't something that prevents gainful employment in the future. The solution is not to restrict the rights of news organizations or anyone else from reporting on facts.

                    There seem to be multiple people assuming that since I don't want to attack the first amendment and tell people what true things they are and are not allowed to say, then that means I'm fine with whatever consequences follow from that. I'm not. What I'm saying is that the solution is not to take away core foundational American freedoms.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 10:54pm

      Re:

      So basically you have been trying to undermine Right to be forgotten law, by posting the guys name in articles about right to be forgotten.

      In addition to nasch's 'that would be a good thing' point which I absolutely agree with, no, they aren't. The right-to-rewrite-history applies to the original act under the idea that after enough time some things aren't newsworthy anymore, and therefore can be removed from history without any real negative impact. Even under that flawed idea repeated attempts to bury any mentions of attempts on that are very much newsworthy, as any time someone tries to remove something from the record not because it's not true but because they don't like it that is worth pointing out.

      The only person keeping this in the spotlight is the idiot who keeps trying to brush his history under the rug(an act which does not inspire confidence that he actually regrets what he did), had he simply accepted that reporting on a terrible law might include mention of his attempts to wield it then he would have been forgotten.

      (As an aside one of the reasons I find the right-to-rewrite history so disgusting is how blatantly dishonest it is. If people have a 'right' to remove the ability for people to find out about their past actions then the targets should be the source of that information, but if they allowed that then defenders of the law would have a hell of a time arguing for why that's not blatant censorship. By instead going after the indexers however they get to pretend, badly, that it's magically not censorship.)

      It sounds like they have only unlisted your page in relation to his name, so not really an impact on you at all.

      Someone is trying in vain to prevent others from finding articles on TD, tell me again how that doesn't impact TD?

      But they also noted by informing the webmaster, Google is breaking GDPR by passing on the name (albeit) indirectly about the person making the request.

      If 'telling someone factual information of what actually happened' violates the GDPR then that just highlights how utterly insane and/or stupid the law is.

      I'm all for freedom of information,

      No you bloody well are not, not if you support a law that allows people to rewrite history simply because they don't like it and/or it might make their lives more difficult because of idiots.

      but it's often not in the public interest for web pages to be ranked right at the top against a persons name, when they can provide a legal basis that the information is inaccurate, out of date, and out of proportion.

      Inaccuracy can be responded to by pointing people to accurate information, while both 'out of date' and 'out of proportion' are entirely subjective. If someone wants more flattering search results then they can strive to do a bunch of positive stuff that will bury the older, less flattering news and show that they have moved on and become a better person in the process.

      Picking a completely random hypothetical out of the air, if someone is accused of running a multi-million dollar scam and settles a lawsuit regarding that, at what point does the fact that that happened become 'out of date'? How about if they then try to hide any reporting on the attempt to bury that factual information(multiple times no less), at what point is recent and repeated attempts to whitewash history 'out of date'?

      Actions like this site, trying to circumvent the law, are likley to just lead to more draconian measures in order to protect peoples rights

      'Tough' and 'no-one has the right to a spotless reputation, especially if the only way they can get it is by hiding anything that might smudge it'. While the EU may have been convinced to pass that monumentally bad right-to-rewrite history law TD operates in the US, where free speech is given just a wee bit more weight, and someone trying to bury their past and then bury any attempt to talk about that in turn is very much noteworthy and worthy of reporting.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Mar 2020 @ 5:20am

      Re:

      "The little guy needs to have some rights to be able to continue with his life, and the RTBF gives some balance to this."

      It doesn't, really.

      We have accepted, for centuries, that a criminal conviction is public information. The RTBF overturns that completely.

      "Actions like this site, trying to circumvent the law, are likley to just lead to more draconian measures in order to protect peoples rights..."

      The right and precedent to be able to answer a citizen or journalists question of Why is this man in prison with "None of your business" if one of the parties felt compelled to invoke the RTBF.

      No one has a right to demand their own words and deeds be erased from history.

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

      • icon
        Zane (profile), 31 Mar 2020 @ 4:52am

        Re: Re:

        We have accepted, for centuries, that a criminal conviction is public information.

        That’s very misleading. In the UK many convictions are considered spent after a set period of time. In which people do not need to declare them in most instances. It’s been like that for many decades perhaps longer. It’s the idea that the person is rehabilitated after some time, and having to declare their conviction in most circumstances means they cannot lead a normal life. Not a new thing at all – most western democracies have similar rules. My understanding is that that unspent convictions would be considered to be in the “public interest”, so search engines would rarely if ever delist them. Of course if a person has a spent conviction, and details of their conviction is right at the top of a search in their name, then their right not to declare their conviction is pretty much useless. So it undermines the whole purpose of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. It’s the conflicts of rights like these, where a balance needs to be struck, and RTBF is just a way for the arguments for delisting to be discussed – it’s not absolute – many times they decide not to delist. Because yes often people who believe in RTBF also believe in freedom of expression too, but appreciate the bigger picture. Of course RTBF is not something just about criminal convictions, it could be victims of crime, a relative of an offender, or perhaps it includes superfluous personal information, like a guy arrested and not charged, but it mentions he was wearing ladies clothes or is HIV Positive.

        The RTBF overturns that completely.

        Not at all! We have not had the likes of Google or similar for centuries, where we can do a quick search 24 hours a day on a random normal person and discover articles about them. In the recent past, researchers would have to travel and invest a great deal of time going to archives, libraries, or talking to the police to find this information. And even if they did, the indexes of the past would usually only list prominent people who had some sort of role in public life, or committed a serious offence. An ordinary member of the public who was somehow involved in a minor crime, wouldn’t be in these indexes. They would obviously only invest this effort if there was a real business case to do, call it “public interest”. The General Public / journalists are no less disadvantaged than centuries or even decades ago. Indeed, even if a RTBF request is successful, people can easily go direct to newspaper websites to locate this information. And I don’t have a problem with that. It means people who have a real need to find the information will invest a little effort. Those who don’t have a real need, will be blissfully unaware.

        The right and precedent to be able to answer a citizen or journalists question of Why is this man in prison with "None of your business" if one of the parties felt compelled to invoke the RTBF.

        I’d doubt it would ever cover people who were actually in prison, as you have to make the request yourself, and usually people don’t have access to the internet in prison anyway. But also, the sentence cannot be considered spent if you are still serving time, and the passage of time would not be great enough to justify it. Indeed a long prison sentence, would mean it would always be in the public interest to disclose the information. But again citizens and journalists who have a real reason to find out this information can, they just need to put some effort into it. The RTBF is not an absolute right, it is a balancing freedom of expression, the right to privacy and data protection, and the public interest.

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

  • icon
    Zane (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 1:10am

    Mistake in article?

    "And of course, plenty of our right to be forgotten stories don't mention this particular individual at all -- so it seems pretty silly to then have them all blocked, but this is the future the EU apparently wanted."
    I'm confused by this. Right to be Forgotten can only be used if a result comes up mentioning a persons name. So pages not mentioning the name cannot be delisted. And they would only be delisted in connection to a name, so the page would still appear if someone searched on "Right to be forgotten", it just wouldn't appear under a search for say "Joe bloggs" or whatever his name is.Is this a mistake in the article?

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 9:23am

      Re: Mistake in article?

      So pages not mentioning the name cannot be delisted.

      It's almost as though the law is being abused to do things beyond its intended purview. Who could have predicted such a thing?

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

      • icon
        Zane (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 10:56am

        Re: Re: Mistake in article?

        At the start of the article it states:

        We received notification this week that Google has delisted our entire right to be forgotten tag page, based on (of course) a right to be forgotten request under the GDPR in the EU. To be clear, this only applies when someone searches the name in question -- which was not shared with us

        So it makes it clear it is just delisting pages when searched for an individual name, e.g. Joe Bloggs - not blocking the whole RTBF tag.

        But at the end it states:

        And of course, plenty of our right to be forgotten stories don't mention this particular individual at all -- so it seems pretty silly to then have them all blocked, but this is the future the EU apparently wanted.

        If the article doesn't mention say "Joe Bloggs", and delisting only takes place when the name in question is used - what's the problem? There will never be any "blocking" on pages that do not contain the name. So absolutely no difference, a non-issue. You can't block a page from appearing when someone searches on "Joe Bloggs", if "Joe Bloggs" is never mentioned on a page
        So no, nothing to do with abusing right to be forgotten

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

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 11:45am

          Re: Re: Re: Mistake in article?

          If the entire RTBF tag page has been delisted from Google, then yes that is a clear abuse of the law.

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

          • icon
            Zane (profile), 29 Mar 2020 @ 12:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Mistake in article?

            If the entire RTBF tag page has been delisted from Google, then yes that is a clear abuse of the law.

            I think that's the point the entire RTBF hasn't been deslisted, the article is a little misleading in its choice of words in places. The first paragraph is slightly better worded:

            To be clear, this only applies when someone searches the name in question -- which was not shared with us

            So the RTBF posts will appear if anyone searches for anything, with the exception of the individuals name e.g. Joe Bloggs. If the name doesn't appear in the RTBF post, then it shouldn't be appearing as a search result anyway. So it is misleading to think this is a wider scope than normal.

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


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