back to article California Uber Alles: Google wants to become the World Privacy Court

Google's advisory panel on privacy recommends rolling back 160 years of UK common law, say legal experts, with Google itself creating new interpretations of well-established legal principles. The consequence would be that Google usurps the courts' role in guarding individual privacy, which critics say would be like the fox …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Drs. Security

      Re: They would say that, wouldn't they?

      fair point on the sub-title, was missing that bit as well.

    2. JamesTQuirk

      Re: They would say that, wouldn't they?

      Yes they would, as it fits in with trying to usurp your currency with Bitcoin/applepay etc, remove all European & Other Govenments revenue from Taxes etc, into their pockets, & they will try to pay the TAX, except they don't like paying them , it's something that works for them, but you will still have to increase Taxes to provide basic services, or subcontract it to "google startup" to "run", them @ a profit ...

  2. swampdog

    4 legged chicken

    God. Not heard the Dead Kennedy's in ages. I'm home early, drinking, and gonna grab the headphones.

    Thanks Reg!

  3. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

    Deja vu

    “wars will no longer exist. But there will be...Rollerball.”

  4. swampdog

    4 legged chicken

    Fuck me. I've spent since yesterday being *ucked by websites & now elReg does it, Second attempt..

    <god>

    God. Not heard the Dead Kennedy's in ages. I'm home early, drinking & headphones are a 'coming!

    </god>

    Anyone able to register with crashmap.co.uk? I'm not on twatter or facepalm & they're ignoring me.

  5. Curly4

    If the ECJ would be the one who sends the delist orders to Google and other search engines the links that is to be forgotten then Google COULD not become the privacy court.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      "If the ECJ would be the one who sends the delist orders to Google and other search engines the links that is to be forgotten then Google COULD not become the privacy court."

      There are thousands upon thousands of such requests. It's entirely reasonable, when one company is breaking the law so frequently, that they introduce a first-stage filter at their expense. This happens in many other companies: it's called their complaints procedure.

  6. swampdog

    3rd attempt

    The trouble with us It bods is we can be stubborn. So much so I can't recall what comment I was going to make.

    1. VinceH

      Re: 3rd attempt

      Let me try to guess by the power of telepathy... oooOOOOoooOOOOOoooo.... wait a minute, I think the words are forming... yes, this is it, you were going to say...

      "God. I heard Kennedy was dead ages ago. I'm home early, drinking, with my head in my hands!"

      I have absolutely no idea what that's got to do with the article, though.

  7. The JP

    sui generis?

    I'd say the public interest test is probably sui generis.

    The standard art.8 v art.10 balancing act requires equal weight to be given to both rights. I don't see how that could be applied here given the CJEU's clear instruction that, as a general rule, privacy trumps freedom of speech when it comes to search results.

    The old English cases on equitable duties of confidence are neither here not there....

    1. DragonLord

      Re: sui generis?

      IIRC the court didn't say that privacy trumped freedom of speech, rather the opposite actually as they said that they couldn't force the publication to take down the article. However they did say that privacy trumped googles ability to index everything and display the results for every search term. Specifically names, or other personal information, once the information was now out of date.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: sui generis?

        That still makes utter nonsense. It's allowed for a publication, some site, to present a factually correct but now considered out of date article, yet it is another site can not present in their publication (a search results page) a link to that first article. Huh? I spent two years learning from a Jesuit priest and this reminds me of the theological dances we discussed.

  8. Len Silver badge
    FAIL

    Useless exercise

    This all sounds like a useless exercise to me. What does it matter what the opinion is of Google or some panel of faux-experts? Ultimately the legal principles and procedures are pretty clear and established.

    Google does business in Europe, employing many thousands of people to sell products to European consumers and business. European users don't accidentally use products aimed at the American market, Google tailors its services to European users by establishing offices in Europe and providing their services in Italian, Danish, Polish etc. If it wants to keep making considerable amounts of money from European users it will have to abide by European law and its courts, principles, safeguards, watchdogs and ultimately parliaments.

    Of course, Google could decide to stop selling its services to Europeans. That would make a lot of European tech companies pop the champagne bottles as it means one big competitor less to worry about. It’s also extremely unlikely that Google would stop selling to the world’s largest economic bloc. It would be an interesting ‘principled’ stance if Google were to decide not to sell to both China and Europe, it would also be extremely ‘courageous’ in the Sir Humphrey sense.

    All in all, this "recommendation" will get some laughs and will then be archived in some bottom drawer.

    1. John Lilburne

      Re: Useless exercise

      Well it sort of matters as Google have a habit of assuming that they are the final arbiter of the law. Take the DMCA and 'fair-use' this is a tricky determination which can only be determined by a court. However, Google seems to think that upon receipt of a DMCA takedown they have a legal right to determine 'fair-use' and leave the copyright violation in place. Now you may think that is fine when its the RIAA doing the complaining, but assume for the moment that its some nude selfie image of your daughter, posted by an ex-lover?

      The legal process is DMCA takedown by copyright holder, DMCA objection by reuser, legal determination by a court. Instead we have Google inserting themselves into the process.

  9. Sporkinum

    Suede-Denim Secret Police

    "Now it is 1984, Knock, Knock at your front door. It's the Suede-Denim Secret Police, They have come for your uncool Niece!"

  10. Drs. Security

    dangerous situation

    whilst we all may have expected this kind of behaviour from Google, it is still something to watch out for.

    Generally big internet companies that provide you with a "free" service will ultimately want something in return and that is your data.

    For Google, Twitter, Facebook etc. we are the products and our privacy rights we unwittingly give away to them for some "free" services.

    Besides the privacy point there is one more extremely dangerous side-note here, will Google next become our news censorship court as well?

  11. frank ly

    "US English, rather than UK English"

    Thats US-English rather than English.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "US English, rather than UK English"

      "a gaffe that will infuriate some Europeans" - based on the strange spelling of ax, shouldn't that be gaff?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Written in US English

    If it is like too many laws in the US are written, this will have been written by lobbyists (i.e. Google in this case) which explains the US English. I guess Google Translate needs a US English -> UK English they can run it through to obfuscate the origin!

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Written in US English

      " I guess Google Translate needs a US English -> UK English they can run it through to obfuscate the origin!"

      As well as inserting the 'u's into a bunch of words, will it also insert the UK's stronger privacy protections?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    seems contradictory to me to bring up 19th century case law...

    When the issue at hand (or at least one of them) is 'the right to be forgotten.

  14. ST Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Google should run for President

    here in the US of A.

    We're THIS close to declaring that corporations are persons, so why not create the necessary precent and get on with it.

    1. streaky

      Re: Google should run for President

      Corporations are unnatural persons the world over. This is why you write laws that specify if for example the right to free speech or the right to be not murdered generally applies to which.

      The US' problem is these things were not codified in early and arguably the most important law despite being well known legal issues at the time, so now somebody has to decide which apply to what.

      1. ST Silver badge

        Re: Google should run for President

        > Corporations are unnatural persons the world over.

        In reality, corporations are not persons of any kind, natural or unnatural. Corporations are collections of legal documents and bank accounts, and that's about it.

        Problem in the US is that there's a push from the corporate faction of the political right to grant personhood to corporations. As insane as the idea sounds, there doens't seem to be widespread opposition to it.

        We've already accomplished - in the US - half of this insanity: in the US money equals speech. We might as well go for the other half - corporations are people - and then let everyone deal with the consequences.

        The majority of the electorate seems unable to figure out for themselves when a bad idea is a really bad idea. I say this because in the US the only way of eliminating the money == speech and corporation == person ideas is by constitutional amendment. There is no support for such an amendment, and that is frightening.

        1. streaky

          Re: Google should run for President

          In reality, corporations are not persons of any kind, natural or unnatural. Corporations are collections of legal documents and bank accounts, and that's about it.

          And yet legally they are, they have rights, they should have rights. The question is over what rights they should have and what they shouldn't.

          1. ST Silver badge

            Re: Google should run for President

            > And yet legally they are, they have rights, they should have rights.

            Which rights?

            Right to vote? Right to marry? Right to bear arms? Right to take the 5th?

            Do Corporations have gender? What prevents a Corporate Person to declare itself male or female? What about sexual orientation? Can a Corporate Person be straight or gay?

            Therein lies the problem: we invent this "corporate personhood" concept, and we find ourselves in the middle of an incoherent and absurd legal muddle.

            There was and still is a way of defining a corporation's rights without elevating it to a person status: the Legal Entity. Legal Entities have some rights, but are not persons - natural or unnatural.

          2. Robert Helpmann??
            Childcatcher

            Re: Google should run for President

            To quote the inscription I once read on the cornerstone of a newly constructed courthouse: No man is above the law. These sorts of actions do not square very well with wanting to have legal personhood though Google is hardly alone in pushing for both super-legal authority and having the legal rights enjoyed by real people. It's like they want their cake and... my cake too.

  15. Howard Hanek

    With apologies to Ricky Gervais but Google should be credited with the invention of lying......or at the very least its perfection....

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tosh

    This isn't Google being bothered with privacy, this is Google being bothered with the fact it will have to spend some of it's tax evasion paying people to clean up their index.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another day, another US Corporation with a God complex...

    ....And just remember Corporations are people too, but only when it suits them... Google isn't satisfied with just the billions, it wants total and absolute control for the next 1000 years. And I fear our naive politicians are going to roll over and give them exactly that...

  18. jake Silver badge

    Fuck google.

    google is a slow-motion privacy train-wreck in progress.

    Anyone with a clue shuns them.

  19. Gannon (J.) Dick

    Point of Order, Analyst Orlowski ...

    While Common Law and the Napoleonic Code are prima facie contentious on the subject of excessive remand (bail while awaiting trial) this has long since been cleared up by the guys who wear whigs in the office.

    It is therefore safe to say that the "right to be forgotten" is the assertion that no remand under any circumstances is Google Common Law, therefore

    1) We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram

    2) jake wrote: Fuck google. That works too for me too. Thanks mi lord.

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