back to article We forget NOTHING, the Beeb thunders at Europe

The BBC has decided that the EU's controversial “right to be forgotten” diktat won't succeed in making its news stories vanish from Google. To get around Google's Euro memory hole, which has resulted in the Chocolate Factory getting 270,000 requests to drop search search links, the UK national broadcaster has decided to list …

  1. BongoJoe
    Flame

    Right to be forgotten option

    I wish I had this on the entirety of my first marriage...

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Devil

      Re: Right to be forgotten option

      The BBC sure "forgot" John Lydon told them about Jimmy Saville in 1978.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: The BBC sure "forgot" John Lydon told them about Jimmy Saville in 1978.

        "I've heard some rumours". That's not telling them about Jimmy Saville.

        1. Hollerith 1

          Re: The BBC sure "forgot" John Lydon told them about Jimmy Saville in 1978.

          Maybe that's all he had indeed heard. Or all he dared to say, given Savile had so many more powerful friends. He was still the only one trying to flag it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Right to be forgotten option

      Can't we just forget the entire country of France? It's not like they'd be missed.

      1. Bloakey1

        Re: Right to be forgotten option

        "Can't we just forget the entire country of France? It's not like they'd be missed"

        You owe your existence to them due to 1066 and all that.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Right to be forgotten option

          I would but the problem is what do we raise in a celebratory toast?

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Happy

            Re: Right to be forgotten option

            what do we raise in a celebratory toast?

            Sussex now makes some of the finest sparkling wine in the world. Although as it's even more outrageously expensive then champagne that sparkling white wine from a region of the country who shall not be named, I don't drink it myself.

            Apparently a small shift in climate over the last 50 years, now makes Sussex perfectly suited to produce the stuff how it used to taste. Personally I prefer Cava, at least when it comes to the prices I'm willing to pay. I've never felt rich enough to do taste testing of many £50-£100 bottles.

            As an alternative, there's beer.

            1. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Right to be forgotten option

          Them and a few Vikings (Norsemen -> Normans)

          The whole 3-way thing was a complicated family feud.

        3. Bob Wheeler

          1066 and all that

          Umm, that would have been the Normans, not the French.

  2. Roq D. Kasba

    Hurrah for the Beeb

    If you're in the position of stewarding a national archives for future generations, taking a robust stand is a principled choice.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Hurrah for the Beeb

      Principled choice? This is how it is supposed to work.

      General search must not return the information for the named person. That doesn't however mean the source material has to be removed. E.g. public record or one person in a group put on trial is found not guilty, so links should not be returned when searching for his name. For all other search combinations the pages should be returned.

      If Google are disappearing the pages completely, for all search terms, then they are doing it wrong. The pages should still be listed, if you don't search on the "forgotten" name.

  3. FF22

    Lawsuits inbound

    Obviously the BBC thinks that it's exempt from EU law. It's not. They will learn it the hard way.

    If they're asked to remove personally identifiable information, they have to do it. If they don't, then 1. they're committing a crime, and 2. will be sued in a civil case.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Lawsuits inbound

      Let's keep this in proportion.

      The "right to forgotten" never applied to original articles, merely their representation in search results.

      At most such pages may be required to contain a disclaimer that the information was subsequently shown to be incorrect.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Lawsuits inbound

        "At most such pages may be required to contain a disclaimer that the information was subsequently shown to be incorrect."

        In the case that started it all, the information (the person in question had been made bankrupt) _was_ correct.

        Removing incorrect data is expected but censoring correct public information is revisionism

      2. FF22

        Re: Lawsuits inbound

        "The "right to forgotten" never applied to original articles, merely their representation in search results."

        Wrong. The "right to be forgotten" is a basic principle of the European Data Protection Directive. It was just that search engines thought they'd not be directly subject to it, because they mirrored other outlets' contents. But the EC made clear, that they indeed are subject to it, even in regard to mirror content.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      The BBC was not asked to remove anything

      Google was 'asked' not to put links to certain pages in certain search results. When google complies, that has no direct effect on the embarrassing article, only on how people can find it. If you do not like an article on the BBC website, you are welcome to Streisand it through the courts and hope that you get a judgement requiring the BBC to remove it.

      I thought all this 'right to be forgotten' was NSA stuff anyway. Finding the dirt on an individual takes time. Far cheaper to require everyone to send a list of the cupboards with their skeletons to Google, and subpoena the lists of persons of interest along with a gag order.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Lawsuits inbound

      I don't imagine the BBC thinks it's above the law. Google's delisting process is a voluntary one - in very few cases have courts been involved - and the BBC is under no obligation to follow Google's lead. As I understand it, several of the missing pages were delisted because regretful commentards asked for their embarrassing late-night ramblings to be erased and in the unlikely event that turns out to be a legally-valid excuse, the BBC would be in a position to delete the offending post and leave the rest of the page intact, something which is not (yet) in Google's power and control.

      The only valid arbiter of whether material must be deleted is a (legally-) competent authority (like the ICO or a court). Google could simply have punted the requests it receives up to them, but clearly decided it would be less burdensome to apply its own processes. It seems like the BBC has simply decided it will continue to make information available until a court or the ICO says otherwise. What's wrong with that?

      1. LucreLout

        Re: Lawsuits inbound

        I don't imagine the BBC thinks it's above the law.

        Above this law? No, I don't think they feel above that law specifically. What they're doing is protecting their archive and access to it.

        But above the law generally? Well, yes, they do think they are above the law. How else to explain Jimmy Saville, who's activities seem to have been common knowledge at the BBC? Quite how they have avoided a significant police investigation into who covered up what and whether they're still doing it, is a mystery to me.

      2. FF22

        Re: Lawsuits inbound

        "Google's delisting process is a voluntary one "

        It's not. They're obliged to do that by law. Look up "European Data Protection Directive".

        "and the BBC is under no obligation to follow Google's lead."

        Indeed. They're not to follow Google. But they're to follow the law.

        "the BBC would be in a position to delete the offending post"

        If it's really just a post that's the reason for the removal request. But it could be also something in the article itself. You just can't know that by only knowing the urls.

        "and leave the rest of the page intact, something which is not (yet) in Google's power and control."

        But obviously that's not what the BBC is doing, and that's not the goal they're working towards. They're just trying to circumvent the system somehow.

        "The only valid arbiter of whether material must be deleted is a (legally-) competent authority (like the ICO or a court)."

        The same could be said about practically anything that involved legality. Like "the only valid arbiter of whether an article should be published in the first place is (like the ICO or a court)". So, yes, and no. Yes, you're right, but that's just only as much an argument, as much it's also a counterargument.

        "It seems like the BBC has simply decided it will continue to make information available until a court or the ICO says otherwise. What's wrong with that?"

        Mostly the fact that it's not a solution to any problem. It just creates more problems.

    4. fruitoftheloon
      Stop

      FF22: Re: Lawsuits inbound

      Ff,

      Please pay attention, you have missed the point BY MILES, please do some homework...

      Regards,

      Jay

      1. FF22

        Re: FF22: Lawsuits inbound

        Only if you'd know what you're talking about. Obviously, you don't.

    5. Dabooka Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Lawsuits inbound

      @FF22

      Swing and a miss

    6. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Lawsuits inbound

      Published information is published information.

      Imaging Tony B Liar or some other politician pulling that line to get the iraq war stories pulled.

  4. DN4

    First, BBC has not been asked to remove any personally identifiable information, that's completely irrelevant here.

    Second, the ‘right to be forgotten’ does not apply to the media, they are exempt. You can ask Google to suppress search results, you cannot ask BBC to remove the actual news.

    1. Velv
      Boffin

      "you cannot ask BBC to remove the actual news."

      Yes, you can. You can ask them to remove anything. They are under no obligation to remove it unless you have a court order, but if you can provide a valid reason why something should be removed the BBC will consider your request.

  5. auburnman

    BBC - "We forget nothing"

    Wish they had this attitude decades ago before they started taping over bits of our national heritage...

    1. Little Mouse

      Re: BBC - "We forget nothing"

      At least they didn't tape over The Green Death. And it was on telly again only last week - Yay!

      Those maggots quite probably had more influence over the formation of my neural pathways than school & parents combined. <shudder>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BBC - "We forget nothing"

        At least they didn't tape over The Green Death. And it was on telly again only last week - Yay!

        Those maggots quite probably had more influence over the formation of my neural pathways than school & parents combined. <shudder>

        My little brother had some pyjamas just that colour. The Green Death gave him nightmares for weeks. Little Ba^%$£d kept waking me up.

        1. handle

          Re: BBC - "We forget nothing"

          "My little brother had some pyjamas just that colour."

          You're just showing off that you had a colour TV in 1973.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: BBC - "We forget nothing"

            You're just showing off that you had a colour TV in 1973.

            Good point handle.

            Actually we wouldn't have done. My parents didn't have colour TV for years, at one point there was a choice made between having a colour tele in the main sitting room or having a second BW one in the front room as well so we, kids, could watch things that the parents didn't want. Hmmm I wonder where we would have seen it in colour, or whether it was just the description that set him off. Being the evil sod that I was (and still am) I teased him about it. Maybe that's was the cause of the nightmares.

            Besides early colour tellies used to reduce me to a scream wreck, the terrible scream at about 16KHz they emitted made me feel like someone had put my head in a vice and were turning the screw.

    2. Yag
      Trollface

      Re: BBC - "We forget nothing"

      I wonder what or Who are you talking about.

      1. auburnman

        Re: BBC - "We forget nothing"

        Dad's Army.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm in the EU, let me out of here.

    Hopefully once we leave the EU, the search links can be restored and a little bit of freedom of information restored.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm in the EU, let me out of here.

      The one thing they won't give you the right to be forgotten by is the EU.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And so it happens ...

    People will now search twice.

    Google first. BBC second.

    It genuinely appears most people don't realise Google is a search aggregator. But then, a lot of people will tell you they are insured with comparethemarket.

    Most people who use the internet struggled with the idea of negative numbers at school.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: And so it happens ...

      Nice patronising post. But I'd argue Google isn't a search aggregator, it's a search engine. It may be a news aggregator, granted.

      I'd also say, so what if people tell you they are insured with comparethemarket (though I doubt they do)? They're effectively the broker and long before they existed, people would use their broker's name to describe their insurance. Besides, even more people would say they were insured by Direct Line, when really it's underwritten by UK Insurance Limited. Lloyds home insurance are often rebranded Zurich or Axa products.

  8. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Holmes

    It's all right...

    Googling 'list of delisted bbc pages' takes you straight to the hit, on the third link.

  9. NightFox

    Ironic...

    ...as I'd imagine that a disproportionately high number of the people or incidents where this "right to be forgotten" was invoked probably relate to the BBC in the 70's/80's anyway, allegedly.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We won't forget Max "spank" Mosley's dad was a Nazi sympathiser. Get that de-listed Max.

    1. JimmyPage
      Mushroom

      We won't forget Max "spank" Mosley's dad was a Nazi sympathise

      And ?

      Who gives a shit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We won't forget Max "spank" Mosley's dad was a Nazi sympathise

        Max Mosley was one of the main pushers for the erasure of truthful and factual history.

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

      We won't forget Max "spank" Mosley's dad was a Nazi sympathiser. Get that de-listed Max.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/11036257/Telegraph-stories-affected-by-EU-right-to-be-forgotten.html

      About 2/3 way down.

  11. Schlimnitz

    Shocking

    The number of pages. I had been imagining it would be about a dozen a year.

    Rather weird to have pro-EU BBC putting up links that EU forced Google to take down...

    Clicking through, also weird some of the pages, with apparently no identifying information at all, but taken down anyway.

    1. handle

      Re: Shocking

      "Rather weird to have pro-EU BBC putting up links that EU forced Google to take down..."

      Shocking indeed, how it undermines your simplistic blinkered view of the world.

  12. RogerT

    I've just looked through Auntie's list and suspect there is good reason for some of the articles to be de-listed. I'll give one possible example as illustration. Perhaps a minor is in the foster care system and estranged from their family. If, say, they are mentioned in an article which identifies their school or sports team then it becomes relatively easy for their family to locate and harass them... Or worse. This is why photography is sometimes banned at school... And the head teacher's explanation may sound weak because they cannot give a truthful one.

    There is an important difference from years gone by is that all news articles world wide can now be searched from a single search engine as opposed to physically searching in libraries or local newspaper offices.

    In the UK at least the search engines enable potential employers to bypass the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 so I'm not as all surprised that so many requests have been make covering Auntie's news reports. In fact I can foresee news organisations being forced by the courts to adopt similar procedures in the future. I believe that Auntie is bringing that day forward.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      bypass the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

      That's broken anyway now. DBS requirements void RoOA.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. James Cane

    Massive coincidence

    I randomly clicked a link in the BBC's list, about halfway down, and the article was about somebody I know personally (and reasonably well). Crazy. What are the odds?

    I can understand why she wanted to have the search delisted under her name - she was interviewed briefly and mentioned by name about a medical condition she had a decade ago which is no longer relevant to her life, but which would conceivably hurt her employment chances.

    1. James Cane

      Re: Massive coincidence

      What people don't seem to get about this is that the links aren't removed from Google completely.

      They only don't show up in conjunction with specific keywords, usually the name of the person requesting the takedown.

      1. Chris Evans

        Re: Massive coincidence & How

        Well I looked at the top item on the bbc list and then put into google "Heiress killer Richard Holtby" and up popped the bbc page and various other sites with the story.

        So either the right to be forgotten isn't working or I'm missing something!

        I also tried replacing Richard Holtby in the search with everyone else mentioned in the story on the BBC page and numerous pages came up. e.g. "P**r Bol**n Heiress killed" (I've put stars in just for this posting)

        Also how do the BBC know which pages google omits from searches?

        1. handle

          Re: Massive coincidence & How

          "Also how do the BBC know which pages google omits from searches?"

          Google tells them.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Forget

    Most people who wish to be forgotten are in luck with me, I forgot them and whatever they did or did not do or say quite quickly. Most I consigned to the "probably dead" file a while ago and I can't be arsed to check if it is so.

    The kefffufle they stir up in trying to be forgotten has the opposite effect - perhaps that is the intent?

    What I write is written on water - you will not recall it - rather will not want to recall it.

  16. Brian Allan 1

    Utter B.S.

    "right to be forgotten" is utter B.S.! If you really don't wish to get into this situation, don't do things that should be forgotten!

  17. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    For right to be forgotten to work there needs to be massive recruitment of people to go through archives cutting out offending content. Theres 400 years of newspapers in my local central library. Where are these job vacancies? It's just another lie, just like the jobs doing Cameron's web censoring never materialised. If you're serious about it ADVERTISE AND RECRUIT THE BLOODY JOBS!!!!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022