back to article Expert: 'Right to be forgotten' could cause problems for publishers

A system where newspaper stories can be 'locked away' – but not entirely deleted from archives – under new data protection law proposals could be used to ensure a balance is struck between privacy and free speech rights, a media law expert has said. Earlier this week EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding announced that a new EU …

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Big Brother

Dear blogspot

It appears one of your bloggers has posted a criticism of our noble leader. This story is clearly not in the public interest and we politely request you to delete the blog and provide us with all information on said blogger so that we might find him and break his legs.

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Anonymous Coward

"the rules are about empowering private individuals in relation to data-processors, not about erasing past events, rewriting history or restricting freedom of the press."

Just because the rules are created relating to the former, doesn't mean they aren't about the latter.

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Silver badge
FAIL

What's the expression ?

"Herding cats" ?

How do you deal with the situation where somebody posts something (either on their FB page,or via a blog) and then decides to delete it ... however it's been cut'n'pasted (with attribution) into *other* peoples FB page/blogs ?

And what do you do about usenet serverrs that don't honour cancellations ?

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Anonymous Coward

The problem isn't the media

At least for me. My grievance is with what seems like every business on the planet collecting my data, cross referencing it with anything else they can get their hands on, data mining it till it bleeds and then making money out of it without asking. Existing rules that state "in respect of which personal data should be processed only when strictly necessary" would already seem to me to preclude hanging on to/acquiring whatever you can to do what you like with, yet the data gravy train simply keeps rolling.

I don't have a problem with businesses I've dealt with utilising data acquired during the course of prior transactions with them, I just object to them cross fertilising it with other data bought in or selling what they know on to others. It strikes me as a fundamental (and to me, unacceptable) shift in the balance of power in the consumer/supplier relationship that will create little but detriment to 'average' consumers.

Head to Tottenham Court road to buy some bit of kit and you have plenty of competition and a fairly even balance of power - if the consumer has done their homework properly. If the retailer was armed with 15 years of your full credit history, list of purchases, current salary and status on WoW, the balance might be said to have tipped in their favour, to my mind, unacceptably.

But the absolute bottom of the barrel are those who do nothing more socially useful than acquire, crunch and sell consumer data on without anything approaching meaningful consent. I couldn't give a flying fuck how much bigger the economy gets because of them or to what degree Britain is a "world leader" in data pimping, I personally won't be happy till either they pay properly for what they have full, informed consent to use, or they're sitting on a cold pavement outside Leicester Square tube, complete with a dog on a string and crying into their begging bowl about how it could all have been so different.

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Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Forget it

EU law applies to ..err.. the EU. Archive.org can do what they want. So stories can last forever there or elsewhere. What this does is put EU publishers at a disadvantage.

The issue is people have to understand that write once/last forever is the only sensible way to think about what you write. The law is not a suitable cleanser of the past. There is also the point that what is in the public interest changes with time. A story may be in the PI now, not in 10 years but very much so in 20 years if the event re-occurs.

Bin the idea please.

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Devil

Dear History Books and Media Organizations

While I will admit to having possibly caused offense and some discomfort to certain individuals in the past I must point out that I was never convicted of any offense and wish to exercise my "right to be forgotten" under the European mandate.

Therefore please delete all records that pertain to me and any actions that I may, or may not, have participated in from all news records and books.

Respectfully yours,

A. Hitler.

It was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead.

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Big Brother

I saw that movie

A guy called Winston Smith was the data manager.

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Bronze badge

There some of the stuff that's being talked about in connection with the looming EU Directive which sounds very useful, if you're not in the data mining business.

Is this inept thinking about the plans going to lose us the good stuff?

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Anonymous Coward

Freedom of expression is a right under European law?

Not sure that Theresa May, or Cameron for that matter, agrees with that principle.

Still, she wouldn't be the first Home Secretary to act unlawfully and make up the rules to suit herself...

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Heard this before

They're not actually deleting them, they are putting them beyond use

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