back to article 'You have no right to see me naked!' Suddenly, everyone wakes up at the Google-EU face-off

“You have no right to see me naked!” Paul Nemitz, the European Commission's director of fundamental rights, told Google this week. “A world in which everybody can see everybody naked is wrong.” He was speaking during the finale of the US giant's “right to be forgotten” roadshow – a string of summits organized by the search …

  1. SuccessCase

    "David Drummond, chief legal officer for Google, said the American advertising network was working the US government to deal with the NSA's mass snooping on innocent netizens."

    So a company with an interest in seeing every bit of data they can get their hands on, is "lobbying" the government to avoid doing the same, Google are quite possibly the most powerful data monger in the world because they are being given their data in many cases voluntarily. But they need to be reigned in. They are also acquiring much data that has not been voluntarily provided, such as when a contractor working on a project copies commercial information contained in email threads over to his private Google Mail account, or when they read my personal contact details delivered to them courtesy of a friends address book, or when a report is copied to a Google Docs account. Multiply up this "web" of personal data across their user base, index it as they have, factor in all the knowledge of illicit activity courtesy of Google Mail accounts set up for naughty purposes, and regardless of the rights wrongs, cleverness or stupidity of the users, there is an incredible amount of information that could be used to coerce, exploit or influence. Plus there is NO, undertaking (despite disingenuous privacy statements worded to sound as though there are built in protections) that a human Google admin cannot view all this information. There is huge temptation, massive power through information available, and the only protection against corruption and abuse by the most powerful surveillance network in the world (Google not the NSA - on the basis freely given info and a massive global unparalleled indexing and semantic analysis capability on a scale not available to any other agency, means Google have uninhibited insight in all the data in their domain) is an open door and promise "we wouldn't do that."

    People need to wake up. Google is already too powerful and, if they haven't already started to use their information base to leverage power in ways that are close to the line or even crossing the line, rooting them out after they do will be a nigh on impossible task.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      really?

      Aren't the ToS of GoogleBusiness accounts different? If so, it kind of breaks down your points into 1) user error or 2) user stupidity or 3) user other.

      Of course that doesn't mean you're incorrect, at all.

    2. RyokuMas
      Thumb Up

      "People need to wake up."

      A big chunk of the problem is that a lot of people have been suckered by Google in a number of ways. The general public have fallen for the age-old carrot of "free stuff".

      The trouble is that a lot of "us" ie: the tech community have been equally fooled by a catchy slogan that was saying what (at the time) a lot of us wanted to hear: "Don't be evil". Bringing this to the table just as Microsoft was taking a pounding from the whole browser wars fiasco got a lot of techies on board, believing that Google was the answer to the "evil" of Microsoft.

      What's sad is that despite Google now proving to be every bit as evil as Microsoft ever was at their peak, so many people in the tech community are still so hung up on the "Microsoft bad, Google good" mantra - the comments and downvotes on so many posts on here are proof enough of this!

      1. SuccessCase

        @RyokuMas Yes, free stuff buys hearts. I actually have experience of the abuse of data in the manner I'm alluding to above, the details of which I can't divulge due to an NDA plus the fact I don't have permanent documentary evidence of the abuse, but rather the word of a trusted colleague and friend. The company concerned wasn't Google, but another very large tech company, so I can't claim I have experience of Google abusing trust in this way.

        During a negotiation a friend of mine could see printouts in a file where the data printed out included my personal data I had stored on a cloud email service run by the company we were negotiating with. And yes there would have been some stupid and highly compromising material in there, of the type any young red blooded man is likely to have when sending emails to best friends. I don't have to explain the content as it was (or should have been) private data, but I mention it now because it is so relevant to this topic and the, unfortunately unprovable, compromise of my privacy was wholly unacceptable.

        Given this experience, I find it very frustrating now when commenters come out with stuff like "as though they are going to be interested in looking at your personal data," and "you're not that interesting." "They" can and in at least one case have; so I'm sure there will be many more such cases.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I could say more fool you for storing emails anywhere than on a computer that you control - 'the cloud' does not hack it.

          Since you are young I put it down to inexperience with security of data, which isn't the sole province of the young as I have had to hammer older people that should know better about it as well.

          I do agree with you that far too many people - especially those that should know better - dismiss the incorrect use of stored data.

          1. SuccessCase

            "I could say more fool you for storing emails anywhere than on a computer that you control"

            You just did, but in a mealy mouthed way. Moreover unless you are only ever sending emails you wouldn't want read in a business context encrypted and control the systems at both ends, you too, by your own judgement, are a "fool" as, I'll wager, are pretty all commenting on here.

            I get fed up with these trite comments that effectively excuse companies of bad practice and let them off the hook by blaming the user. There are plenty of cases where private data is stored on systems outside of our control where we can reasonably expect and do expect privacy to be maintained. My bank account, my medical records, my tax records. While I accept these institutions haven't always performed perfectly and I don't expect all services will be accident free or free of the occasional breach we should and do expect the attitude towards the data should be that it is private, should be respected by the custodian and that it should remain private.

            We are talking about large companies with high brand value. It is not beyond their capability to ensure personal emails are kept safe, secure and are never, ever deliberately read. Indeed such is the minimum we should expect. If banks were similarly loose with our bank accounts there would be no banking system. So I would suggest, if you keep your money in a bank, you are equally a fool for "trusting" a computer system outside of your control. Of course you do keep money in a bank, accept it is secure enough, so logically there is no reason not to expect a similarly high standard to applied to other data.

            1. Eric Olson

              There are plenty of cases where private data is stored on systems outside of our control where we can reasonably expect and do expect privacy to be maintained. My bank account, my medical records, my tax records. While I accept these institutions haven't always performed perfectly and I don't expect all services will be accident free or free of the occasional breach we should and do expect the attitude towards the data should be that it is private, should be respected by the custodian and that it should remain private.

              That's your first mistake. Those entities do the exact same "anonomizing" that Google does to find more products to sell to people like you as well as sell to third-parties to target folks with your habits. The fact that you are paying them for the pleasure of being their product makes it even worse. And if you think that they don't have a way to trace each dodgy purchase or transaction back to you when the local police come calling, I have some swampland in Florida available at rock-bottom prices.

  2. davcefai
    FAIL

    Wrong Target?

    Why are they targeting the search engine? It simply tells us WHERE the information is. To me, this seems analogous to instructing map-makers to leave out the shadier streets in a town.

    If people want to remove embarassing information they have to get the website to remove it. I know that this is impossible but frankly getting Google to censor information makes me feel uneasy.

    Somehow the terms "security by obscurity" and "start of a slippery slope" spring to mind.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Wrong Target?

      To me, this seems analogous to instructing map-makers to leave out the shadier streets in a town.

      It is not any different from instructing map makers to avoid putting that Minuteman or SS-18 launch site on the map. That is something they have been doing since the days when the first map was drawn (just in those days it used to be coastal batteries instead).

      As far as going after the search sites, if the Minuteman site on the other side of the hill is not on the map the only people to know it is there are likely to be the neighbours and the "enemy". Everyone else will not have a clue that there are 16 nuclear warheads waiting to blow up someone on the other side of the globe.

      Cutting down the audience to people who know it already is usually 99.99% good enough in terms of mitigating the effect of information which is the subject of "right to be forgotten". This is in fact the aim of the right to be forgotten directive - it is not to be forgotten by people who already know, it is "not to be learned" by people who do not.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Wrong Target?

        "It is not any different from instructing map makers to avoid putting that Minuteman or SS-18 launch site on the map. "

        You're comparing naked people pictures to ballistic nuclear weapons?

        Seriously?

    2. Raumkraut

      Re: Wrong Target?

      Alas, it seems you've drunk the Google Koolaid. The point is not that the information is available on the internet. The point is that Google are making certain assertions about people, by virtue of search result rankings for peoples' names.

      If you search Google for "viagra", you expect to get the most relevant results about the drug, not one hundred billion linkspam sites.

      If you search Google for one "Horatio Hornswaggle", virtuoso Xylophone player, you expect to get the most relevant results about that person; which perhaps doesn't include their 1st grade homework, nor a "drunk and disorderly" conviction from 20 years ago.

      The key phrase is "most relevant results". Google are still claiming this to be a censorship issue, thereby bringing up the region-locking and "OMG CHINA" bogeymen. What they should be doing is saying "thank you for the additional source of relevancy data, we have updated our search algorithms to provide even better search results".

      Because that's effectively what this is all about: improving the relevancy of Google's search results.

      1. Vociferous

        Re: Wrong Target?

        > What they should be doing is saying "thank you for the additional source of relevancy data

        Sweet jesus, you don't actually believe that do you? Censorship is good? Because this is censorship. This is an explicit statement that your right to be forgotten trumps my right to free speech.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wrong Target?

          This is an explicit statement that your right to be forgotten trumps my right to free speech

          In the UK it does.

          We have a whole raft of different bits of legislation that specifically override free speech - such as the rehabilitation of offenders act - in favour of the right to be forgotten.

        2. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Wrong Target?

          @Vociferous and in many countries there is no constitutional right to free speech...

          But ignoring that, this is not infringing on your right to free speech. You can say what you want about another person, as long as it is factually accurate and not slanderous. The point here is, if the person you have mentioned can prove that those comments are no longer relevant, he can get a link to your page removed when searching for THEIR NAME. All other combinations of keywords that would return your page remain unaffected.

          Your article is still searchable and it is still there. Just when one name is used in the keywords, the link will be supressed.

          1. Vociferous

            Re: Wrong Target?

            > But ignoring that, this is not infringing on your right to free speech.

            If it's not on Google it's not on the net at all. A disembodied page might as well not exist.

            if the person you have mentioned can prove that those comments are no longer relevant, he can get a link to your page removed when searching for THEIR NAME. All other combinations of keywords that would return your page remain unaffected.

            That was not the case earlier, e.g. searching for the title of an article which mentioned the name of a person who had issued a "right to be forgotten" request did not produce any hits in Google. Currently Google is either not censoring anything at all, or my VPN is making me immune, because I have been unable to trigger Google censorship with any combination of search terms from censored pages. Seriously, if anyone can find any search term which produces a Google warning or different result compared to when run on www.google.com/ncr, I'd love to see it.

            1. big_D Silver badge

              Re: Wrong Target?

              That is the point, if the person's name is in the search query it won't appear, because he is being "forgotten", but any other key words that match will still bring up the article.

              Google tried being heavy handed, when this first came down and removed all traces of links, they were told off about that, so I hope they are now doing it properly.

              As to your results, have you read the story? Currently it affects European domains, .co.uk, .de, .fr etc. it does not affect google.com, which is the argument the EU is making, that people inside the EU also do use the .com domain - as a Brit living in Germany, I tend to use the .com domain for 90% of my searches.

              1. Vociferous

                Re: Wrong Target?

                > "That is the point, if the person's name is in the search query it won't appear, because he is being "forgotten", but any other key words that match will still bring up the article."

                I can find no term at all which causes known censored sites to not show up in Google's search. Can you?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wrong Target?

          @Vociferous

          No, this isn't censorship at all. Anyone doing a LexisNexis search (free at your local library) will find the articles. Anyone searching the newspaper will find the article too. When you say Google Search is censorship you are just advertising your laziness/ignorance.

          Google Kool-Aid. They should bottle it and sell it.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wrong Target?

          "Sweet jesus, you don't actually believe that do you? Censorship is good? Because this is censorship. This is an explicit statement that your right to be forgotten trumps my right to free speech."

          Because there comes a time when the right to be forgotten is key to having all your other freedoms restored. Consider an exoneration or wrongful conviction. For all intents and purposes, everything noted about you being a suspect in a crime is now incorrect, yet if people (think employers) search for you, they may find the erroneous information and draw erroneous conclusions about you, to the point that it becomes "guilt by association," and you can't change their minds. It's basically a case of a mistake (and not one of your doing) ruining your inaliable rights to life and the pursuit of happiness.

          So it's time to ask yourself, whose rights take precedence?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wrong Target?

        What they should be doing is saying "thank you for the additional source of relevancy data, we have updated our search algorithms to provide even better search results".

        Google might be more amenable to saying that, if people were not trying to force them to remove results.

      3. Adam 1
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Wrong Target?

        It is in Google's interest to return the results that their users were looking for, irrespective of whether you now regret the night you embarassed yourself. If they are simply a bunch of viagra link farms then people will change searh engines. I have used probably a dozen search engines over the past decade or so. I switched to google when its results were consistently aligned with what I was looking for. If tomorrow morning Bing does it better then I will switch again.

        Even taking at face value that the information is inaccurate; it is only an assumption that the user was expecting accurate information. Would you expect reliable information from the onion? Of course not (at least I hope). The point is that you want a search engine to decide based on a short phrase and possibly some additional data (location / google+ / search history etc if available) the relevance of the possible returned results. If information is truly out of data and Google doesn't return the more up to date information then Google will lose out to its competitors; but there would surely have to be much better reasons to not go after the information source in the first place. They are going after Google for the PR. If they wanted the information gone, they would go after the hosting website(s).

        It is with great curiousity that I ponder whether these guys think that China should have the right to suppress "out of date" links on Google.com?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wrong Target?

        >The key phrase is "most relevant results". Google are still claiming this to be a censorship issue, thereby bringing up the region-locking and "OMG CHINA" bogeymen.

        Nope, China never pretended their takedown requests weren't censorship.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Wrong Target?

      Because the source can often not be removed, because it is public record, even if it is no longer relevant.

      Think of it more as Fred Smith has moved out of number 41 Acacia Avenue, so it is no longer relevant to point to 41 AA when looking for Fred Smith.

      We are also not talking about removing links from Google completely. The general information may still be relevant, but not relevant when searching for a specific name.

      For example reports on a murder trial with 2 defendents, one is eonerated, so he asks that results to his arrest and the trial not be shown when searching using his name. Other searches to the article will still appear (people interested in the murder and the trial can still find the information), people searching for information on this person won't get links to the arrest and trial, as they is no longer relevant to that person.

      1. tfewster
        Big Brother

        Re: Wrong Target? +1 raumkraut and big_D

        It's a fact that your hypothetical defendant was arrested and charged; It's also a fact that they were exonerated. So either the facts should be given equal weighting, or maybe it's just easier to de-index the outdated report.

        Even if they were convicted, the law sets the penalty. Prison time is a punishment and protects society by removing the offender, but should also attempt to rehabilitate offenders. _If_ they can be rehabilitated, there's little point in keeping them in prison at the taxpayers expense any longer.* The facts are available to people with a legitimate interest through the proper channels, such as a Criminal Records check. Public shaming went out with the stocks, but seems to have been reinvented.

        A newspaper article about the crime and defendants will die a natural death in the archives. At present, Google is like a small-town gossip that keeps dredging up the muck. Yes, we secretly like to hear the juicy bits, but in general we deplore the gossip as we're probably targets too.

        * Hindley, Brady, cop-killers, the recent case of an unrepentant teenager who killed a teacher - all edge cases, where deterrence (the need to be Seen To Be Sending the Right Message) may be more important than rehabilitation.

        1. Elmer Phud

          Re: Wrong Target? +1 raumkraut and big_D

          " Prison time is a punishment and protects society by removing the offender, but should also attempt to rehabilitate offenders."

          Hmm, that's the two seperate trains of thought rolled together.

          Which do you prefer? Lock up or educate?

          Unfortunatley the current trend to make as much money as possible by private firms has led to the removal of much education. Despite evidence to the contrary, education is binned in favour of locking 'em up.

          'Deterrence' is merely a challenge, not a deterrent.

          If it worked we wouldn't need to be the most CCTV'd place around.

          1. Indolent Wretch

            Re: Wrong Target? +1 raumkraut and big_D

            I prefer both.

            They aren't mutually exclusive.

          2. tfewster

            Re: Wrong Target? @Elmer Phud

            Punishment can be an important part of rehabilitation. I'm in favour of locking up a menace to society, but if he's (genuinely) no longer a menace after years of rehab/reeducation/brainwashing/mind wiping/personality transplant*, and can be a useful member of society, he can work off his debt.

            * Yeah, science fiction, but more likely than governments spending money on rehab.

            Deterrence works on most people, who think about the consequences of their actions. No offence, but again you're using edge-cases (criminals) to make a generalisation about people.

      2. kphair

        Re: Wrong Target?

        @big_D: No, for your murder trial scenario, the site hosting the report should be made to update their page with a paragraph stating at the beginning that "Defendant X was subsequently exonerated of all charges and this should be kept in mind when reading the following story". That it seems more difficult to do this than getting Google to remove it from their index is possibly more a reflection on the legislature's inability to cope with the modern age.

        Removing the link to the page does not fix the incorrect information and in fact allows people with a grudge against Defendant X to distribute a direct link to the incorrect story should they wish to conduct a smear campaign.

        Google removing links from their index only feeds the fallacy among the general public that Google somehow IS "The Internet" (how many times have you seen people entering a URL into the Google search page rather than the address bar), which might explain why they are quite happy to be doing this.

    4. John Tserkezis

      Re: Wrong Target?

      "If people want to remove embarassing information they have to get the website to remove it. I know that this is impossible but frankly getting Google to censor information makes me feel uneasy."

      True, and it maintains the possibility of someone else keeping track of the link-that-shall-not-be-named.

      There are two recent cases that come to mind of "right to be forgotten" laws that were enacted and reported in one of our fairfax papers. They pretty much outlined the entire incedent, what happend, why they want it scrubbed and how to find this information. The Streisand effect came to mind first, then the fact the paper itself is searchable and outside the control of the Google laws. Mainly because the paper's search function is a core feature for paid users - if you can't search for stories, then why the hell are you paying for it?

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Wrong Target?

        @John Tserkezis don't forget, this law isn't a "Google" law, this covers all search engines and content sites. As long as the story isn't public record and it is no longer relevant, then you can request that it not be returned on any search engine, when your name is entered.

        It is just over here Google has over 90% market share, so Google get the brunt of the press coverage.

  3. Alfred 2
    Meh

    Actually

    You have no right desire to see me NAKED!' Paul Nemitz.

    There fixed it.

    1. Robert Ramsay

      Re: Actually

      Could I see a picture of him clothed before deciding?

      1. ukgnome

        Re: Actually

        beaten to it.....Paul Nemitz might be a hottie.

  4. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    Holmes

    Meh...

    Turns out men and women are basically the same - seen one, seen em all.

    1. DocJames
      Coat

      Re: Meh...

      If you think men and women are basically the same, you haven't seen them naked.

      I'll put my coat back on, thanks

    2. Nick Kew
      Coat

      Re: Meh...

      Think it was a Dave Allen joke. The catholic girl and protestant boy see each other naked: I didn't know we were that different, you protestants and us catholics ...

      Or vice versa.

  5. Vociferous

    the EU has gone full retard on Google.

    And I don't understand why. Yes, there are some French search engines the French government wants to protect from competition, but surely even the French can't derail the entire EU leadership?

    And I don't really need to point out how disingenuous it is of EU to complain about Google privacy issues when the EU is constantly mandating more intrusive government surveillance and censorship of the net, do I?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the EU has gone full retard on Google.

      So you want Google excluded from a law that everyone else must obey. Fucking brilliant.

      The rich already use superinjunctions to enforce their fundamental right to privacy.The ruling means the poor, who do have done nothing wrong, and who cannot use expensive lawyers, cannot enjoy the privacy protection that the rich enjoy.

      You need to think this through a bit rather than squawking about censorship.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: the EU has gone full retard on Google.

        No but surely an elected/appointed body should be responsible for what should be removed not a private company. The biggest problem here is they've given the entire responsibility for the first Yes/No to a private company. Every time Google says No it's OK there's an appeal process, every time Google just says Yes I have a problem.

  6. naive

    Who wants to forget what might be an interesting question

    This whole campaign from the European Commission, whose members are not being elected but appointed in backroom meetings, leaves the door wide open to censorship. It is being sold to the general public as a way to get rid of those pesky pictures taken when drunk, but in fact the implications of such rules from Brussels have a potential to limit our freedom.

    It is not only private persons who can do take down requests, but also politicians and governments, and it implies that they ask google to create a Great Firewall like in the communistic republic of China.

    Actually it is alarming to see how politicians try to seize control of the Internet in order to limit what people are allowed to see. Perhaps availability and the right to access uncensored information should be part of the constitution in countries claiming they are democracies.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Who wants to forget what might be an interesting question

      We elect MEP's but some seem to be self-opinionated money-grabbing gobshites - the ones who moan the most about the EU ar ethose more heavily reliant on the funding from it.

      Am I right, Nigel?

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Who wants to forget what might be an interesting question

      naive,

      This decision was made by the ECJ. So it was a judical, not a political one - and should have had nothing to do with the Commission.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the council will draw up non-binding, non-legally enforceable guidelines"

    So, in other words, all this was an exercise in rhetorics and nothing will come of it.

    What a great use of time and money !

  8. Dan Paul

    This is what you get from putting

    Public Records online. If you did the crime, be prepared to do the time. That includes having the records come up in a search. All Google does is search for the info YOU are looking for with the keywords YOU choose. You could find the same info from ANY search agent, Bing, Duck, Duck GO or whomever.

    Google registers TLDs for the country that the searcher originates from for convenience and legal purposes. People who want to subvert that system arent their problem because Google have done what they are supposed to do for the jurisdiction.

    If the EU just wants to make Google it's bunboy, it should be doing the same to individuals and companies who use the web to put data online, because they are more culpable than Google. It is they who are actually USING the tools. Google just provides the results.

    If you don't like what you find about YOURSELF on the web, don't blame Google, blame the person who put it there in the first place.

  9. Curly4

    ECJ

    It should be that unless Google receives a take down from the ECJ Google should remove all references of he person requesting the take down from ALL search results form now on or none. The reasoning is that it should not be Google making the judgement call on which to take down or not, that should come form the ECJ. So all take down request would have to go through the ECJ which would issue the take down order to Google and if Google did not adhere to the order then it would be fined according to a predetermined scale.

    Now when that happens Google will not be the judge and jury on each of these take down orders.

    Now if the ECJ decides that it will not be the clearing house for the take down orders then when Google gets a take down order it should decide to eliminate all search results of the person or company who requested the take down order and even the state would then have to get a court order to revel the results.

    1. Andy Gates

      Re: ECJ

      That's harder than you think: *which* Fred Bloggs do these results refer to?

      It's also not relevant. Fred might not want his bad business dealings from 2002 being found, but be entirely happy to have his current stuff up.

      Of course, as it stands Fred can only get anything enforced if he is prepared to spin up a lawyer, which makes this a right and a rule for the wealthy only.

  10. Aedile

    Bad Law

    Why do people in the EU not understand why this law has many many issues? The problem is defining outdated/irrelevant. Who decides this? Right now it is one of the people being talked about. The problem with this is if I don't like what is being said I can decide it is outdated/irrelevant even if it only is a day old and true (it would be abusing the law but people do so to the DMCA for the SAME reasons).

    In addition, if the article is discussing multiple people why should one of the parties be able to get it removed? For example, some 10 year old article talks about how Sally won 1st place for something while Bob was a royal jerk. Bob requests the article be forgotten and so harms Sally who may like the article to stay. Sally isn't alerted to Bob's request to protest. You can't claim Sally doesn't gain benefit from the article since it's 10 years old but at the same time claim Bob's harmed. So does this mean if an article as more than one person discussed it can't be "forgotten"? Or do you want to just screw the other people who weren't jerks because we can't make anyone feel bad?

    For one last comment/example/analogy: Should web sites that allow users to post reviews of companies be required to delete reviews over x number of years old? If so at what age are the posts deleted? Example: Some company gets bad reviews for a while but then improves. If customers see a collection of reviews and 50% are 1 star but are 10 years old they may still lose business even though all recent ratings are 5 stars. Per the initial questions: is it the web sites job to delete the old reviews or should the customer have to use common sense to determine they company is now doing a better job? In my opinion I'd rather see ALL the ratings and decide than have someone sterilize the results for me.

  11. chris lively

    Internet Usage Tips

    Pro Tip #1:

    If you don't want naked pictures of yourself to end up on the internet, then don't take them. If someone else takes them without permission, make sure to sue them so that the rest of the world will be made aware of the indiscretion and search for them.

    Pro Tip #2:

    If you aren't sure if what you are saying is dumb or not, then by default it is dumb. Don't post it. Actually, most of what you say is dumb and of no merit to the wider world, so you're likely better off just keeping those thoughts to yourself. Abstinence - from the internet anyway - is likely the best policy for those too immature to understand the ramifications of their actions.

    Pro Tip #3:

    Whatever you say, type, upload a video/photo of doesn't magically go away after some amount of time. Someone, somewhere will have saved it only to reveal at the worst possible moment in your life. Even if Google does let you "be forgotten", you won't be. Those images, text and videos will still be out there just waiting for those in control of them to turn the spotlight back on.

    Pro Tip #4:

    There is no such thing as "anonymity" on the Internet. You can be identified and found by someone willing to spend the time to do the research. If hackers - the real ones, not the kiddies - are routinely found and arrested what chance do you think you have?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It really isn't that complicated

    I attended the event (surprisingly, it was really not well attended) and the only conclusion is: this is a major (and overly successful) lobbying exercise.

    Yes, people are right. The judgement requires some hard thinking and application of law. But it really is not that complicated. At the end, there are two rights to be balanced out. And this is what lawyers are trained to do. Pretty much the basics.

    And of course, Google might get it wrong - in some cases. Then people could escalate and over time there would be some casuistic and that would help Google making better decisions. Nobody said a lawyer's job was easy - but it doesn't require panels, roadshows etc.

    That is lobbying aiming at changing the draft Data Protection regulation in Google's interest. That is legitimate and people know and deal with it. It's what we call democracy.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the opinionated tone?

    This could have been an informative article without it. :-(

  14. Charles 9 Silver badge

    "'You have no right to see me NAKED!'

    It wasn't that long ago that you had no right to protect your privacy. There once was a time when ordinary people pretty much had no expectation of privacy because there were eyes and ears enough to spy on everything in the community. Only with the congregation of cities has personal privacy become more feasible. However, the advent of abundant means of surveillance has now shrunk the possible radius of privacy back down nearly to the proverbial "zero space." And it's not just the government or big business driving it. It's the old bane of the village, the snoopy neighbor, putting the nail in the coffin. And since it's you vs. the world, you're going to end up losing.

    It's time to face facts. Sooner or later, unless you're one of the uber-elite, you WILL have no expectation of privacy in future.

  15. P. Lee

    From Sunday-School

    O be careful little eyes what you see...

    O be careful little ears what you hear...

    O be careful little hands what you do...

    O be careful little feet where you go...

    O be careful little mouth what you say...

    Stop trying to undo the effects of being stupid and try instilling some decent values. If you couldn't censor your own behaviour in the past, why should Google do it for you? Being able to hide just encourages irresponsibility.

  16. Dave Howe

    seems to have forgotten

    That google is only INDEXING this information. if he wants it gone, why not have it removed from the sites that hold it (then google will remove it from the index for the obvious reasons?)

    If he isn't willing to go to that level of censorship, why should google do this?

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