One of my areas of interest is the RTBF. Below are links and resources on the topic.
(Oct 5, 2021) Into Oblivion How news outlets are handling the right to be forgotten
- Is unpublishing “anathema to the profession, or is it a twenty-first-century professional practice that we have to have?”
- “We’re trying to restore the order that existed before the internet.”
- All over the country, journalists are questioning the degree of trust they ought to place on police sources—particularly since the murder of George Floyd, when the Minneapolis Police Department released a statement that obscured his cause of death, claiming that he had “physically resisted officers” and “appeared to be suffering medical distress.”
- “What I hear too often is that newsrooms, in the absence of an official policy, just address each situation as it comes,” Joy Mayer told me. “And while I know that they are usually operating in good faith, that’s an awful answer, because it’s inconsistent—it depends on which editors are involved.”
- Which crimes should we always remember, and which crimes should we forget? How long is long enough for a crime to stop being newsworthy? Who deserves a clean slate?
- If a court pardons, seals, or expunges a criminal offense, the Globe, Cleveland.com, and BDN are likely to de-index or anonymize their reports of the incident. But that is not the case everywhere:
- “You’re telling me that you can get a pardon from the government for this charge, but you can’t get a pardon from a news organization?” [Kathy] English observed. “That hard wall of ‘We do not unpublish, it’s not our job to rewrite history, we don’t un-ring the bell’—it’s hard to get editors to move beyond that, to see a need for clemency, for mercy, for compassion.”
- Some newsrooms are understandably concerned that something like the right to be forgotten will soon be officially recognized in the US; having robust procedures in place ahead of time might obviate the need for formal legislation, allowing newsrooms to retain control over their digital presence.
(Feb, 2015) How Google determined our right to be forgotten
Pinning this here as it is an important piece
(July 29, 2021) The largest news agency in the US changes crime reporting practices to ‘do less harm and give people second chances’
- [ standards vice president at AP] said many people making requests to the AP had been arrested for minor drug offenses, such as small amounts of marijuana, but stories about those offenses were blocking them from getting jobs, renting apartments and even meeting people on dating apps.
- AP’s new policy signals a shift in U.S. politics and culture. It takes a small step away from the traditional “tell-all” practice of American crime reporting. It embraces a bit of the empathy toward wrongdoers shown by reporters in some European countries.
(July 12, 2021) Privacy law applies to Google results, judge says in ‘right to be forgotten’ case https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-privacy-law-applies-to-google-results-judge-says-in-right-to-be/
(July 5, 2021) Is Private Sector Privacy Legislation Looming in Ontario?
- Right to be Forgotten. The Ontario government is considering expanding Bill C-11’s proposed right to deletion, by also introducing the “right to be forgotten” – i.e., the right, in some circumstances, to require an organization to de-index search results that contain personal information about the individual that have been posted by others.
(Jun 22, 2021) ECtHR bolsters ‘right to be forgotten’
- The so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ took another step forward in human rights law today when judges of the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of a man with historical convictions relating to a fatal road accident.
- After serving his sentence and being rehabilitated in domestic law, the driver applied in 2010 for the article to be removed from online archives or anonymised. In 2016 Belgium’s Court of Appeal ruled that to keep the article online could cause indefinite and serious harm to the driver’s reputation, giving him a ‘virtual criminal record’. It found that the most effective way to ensure respect for his private life without disproportionately affecting freedom of expression would be to anonymise the article by identifying the individual as ‘X’.
- …judges agreed by a majority of six to one with the domestic judgment, finding that the online article was of no value in terms of newsworthiness and that, 20 years after the events, the identity of a person who was not a public figure did not enhance the public interest. Meanwhile online anonymisation would not affect the integrity of the original article, which would remain in the print archives.
(June 19, 2021) The physics of social spaces are not like the physics of physical spaces The physics of social spaces are not like the physics of physical spaces
- However, simply letting posts expire is not the solution, in part due to the many ways that digital content can be copied and archived but, more importantly, because forgetting is and must be an active process that cannot and should not be automated. My earlier CoFIND system did have a way to deal with that (memories had to be actively maintained by active interest and use by members or, though they would never be fully lost, they would be far less likely to be recalled) but we didn’t make much use of that idea on the Landing, save in isolated pockets, because it would have really irritated the many people or groups that engage intermittently (e.g. in iterations of paced courses).
(June 15, 2021) Under U.S. Law, Freedom of Speech Trumps any Right to be Forgotten https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/under-u-s-law-freedom-of-speech-trumps-7513698/
- Both historic and recent court cases establish that under U.S. law, newsworthy stories outweigh an individual’s right to privacy. The balance is different for news—in contrast to mere entertainment.
- [W]hen William Sidis, a famous child prodigy in 1910, objected to a New Yorker magazine article many years later, the court reasoned “that at some point the public interest in obtaining information becomes dominant over the individual’s desire for privacy.” Sidis v. F-R Pub. Corp., 113 F.2d 806, 809 (2d Cir. 1940).
- Newsworthy information may be published even if the subjects of those reports wish it would be forgotten. Under this legal regime, incentives remain strong to preserve a good reputation to thus avoid later embarrassment.
(Jan, 2016) Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC): Submissions received for the consultation on online reputation
“All memory takes place in the present and is oriented toward the future”
– Ellis, The Ethnographic I
(June 14, 2021) The right to be forgotten’: Should teens’ social media posts disappear as they age? https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/06/14/should-what-children-post-online-come-back-haunt-them-later-life/
- “When should a person’s ‘permanent digital record’ start recording, if ever? To what extent should social media be a space for trial-and-error exploration around identity and social behavior?”
- “Figuring out who you are can involve a lot of experimentation, exploration, and comparison to others,” Dockterman said. “Sometimes that search for identity and belonging lead a young person into bad decisions.”
- “Every single adult has had the experience of being a teenager and doing things that they wish they didn’t,” Steinberg said. The difference is that “now everything is just so public and permanent.”
- In a world in which that slate is always sullied, “there’s a kind of a chilling effect on children. They feel fatalistic.”
- “Should we judge people for who they are now or who they were, years or decades ago?” asked Raicu. “I think we do need to allow for the possibility of people growing and changing.”
(June 9, 2021) Right to be Forgotten: A Case of Protecting Human Dignity and Informational Self Determination https://www.theleaflet.in/right-to-be-forgotten-a-case-of-protecting-human-dignity-and-informational-self-determination/
- The Delhi High Court recently granted interim protection to an American citizen of Indian origin by directing the platforms Google, Indian Kanoon and vLex.in to remove a judgment by the same court concerning the petitioner from their search results.
- When the petitioner travelled to India in 2009, a case under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, was lodged against him. He was acquitted of all charges by an Additional Sessions Judge in the Dwarka Courts of Delhi via an order dated April 30, 2011.
- An appeal was filed before the Delhi High Court challenging this order of the trial court. Through an order delivered on January 29, 2013, a single-judge bench of the High Court upheld the petitioner’s acquittal. The petitioner then travelled back to the US to pursue law. He soon realised that due to the fact that the judgment rendered by the High Court was available through a Google search to any potential employer who would want to conduct his background verification before employing him, he faced unnecessary stigma and prejudice, which put him at a huge and unwarranted disadvantage.
(Apr 13, 2021) Mass. Trial Court Rejects Right to Be Forgotten
- Interesting take from author: “I think that it would sometimes be permissible for state law to treat as libelous (1) the continued display of the initial charges (2) without an update indicating that the charges were dropped; and it would be permissible for state law to extend the statute of limitations for such situations. “
The New Age of Content Moderation(?)
(Jan 19, 2021) https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=da26945f-b16b-4031-b8cb-777339264b61
- the coming changes in content moderation are a matter of prioritizing social responsibility over the platform’s economic interest in polarization and emotional manipulation.
- Europe, with different laws and social priorities toward freedom of speech, started this discussion in earnest with the big tech companies. When Google executives were criminally charged in Italy for not removing illegal content and a CompuServe executive was arrested in Germany for allowing illegal goods to be sold online, U.S. companies learned that they needed to consider the differing community standards of the countries where their customers resided. Instagram and Twitter operate with greater content limitations in majority Islamic countries and other more restrictive societies. They made these adjustments overseas, so why can’t they make appropriate adjustments to their content moderation in the U.S. and Canada? Google has made content accommodations for the “Right to be Forgotten” in the European Union, so we know that such moves are possible to meet the standards of important communities
(Feb 7, 2021) It’s time America adopted ‘the right to be forgotten’
- Institutionalizing and standardizing the right to be forgotten is necessary to allow people to try and improve themselves. Inequality all over the world remains stubbornly high — and it’s in part because the internet allows our collective consciousnesses to suddenly grow superhuman ability to recall character blemishes that in previous generations would have withered and died with the passing of time. Giving people the chance for a fresh start helps chip away at that gulf.
(Jan 30, 2021) A Vast Web of Vengeance Outrageous lies destroyed Guy Babcock’s online reputation.
- posts on strange sites accusing him of being a thief, a fraudster and a pedophile. The posts listed Mr. Babcock’s contact details and employer.
- Google’s algorithms apparently liked [the doctored images] from Pinterest, and so the pictures were positioned at the very top of the Google results for “Guy Babcock.”
- Guy Babcock was about to discover the power of a lone person to destroy countless reputations, aided by platforms like Google that rarely intervene.
- Peter W. Singer, co-author of “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media.”
- dragged into an internet cesspool where people’s reputations are held for ransom.
- Ripoff Report offered “arbitration services,” which cost up to $2,000, to get rid of “substantially false” information.
If someone posts false information about you on the Ripoff Report, the CDA prohibits you from holding us liable for the statements which others have written. You can always sue the author if you want, but you can’t sue Ripoff Report just because we provide a forum for speech.
- Mr. Babcock came across a blog [post which had] an author photo attached
- A lawyer, Christina Wallis, wrote about becoming a target of online harassment by [the same person] Ms. Atas.Credit.
- For years, Ms. Wallis and her colleagues had been pursuing lawsuits and contacting the sites and technology platforms that hosted the material. Nothing had worked. The smears remained public, and the consequences became real.
- Maanit Zemel, a lawyer who specializes in online defamation, represents a group of 53 people who have filed a lawsuit saying they were attacked online by Tanvir Farid after he failed to get jobs at their companies.
- For victims, these sorts of attacks “can literally end their life and their career and everything,” Ms. Zemel said
During multiple interviews in recent months, Ms. Atas refused to divulge much about herself. She told me she was worried about the impact of a New York Times article. “Anyone who Googles my name, this will come up, and I don’t want this to come up,” she said.https://www.reddit.com/r/LeopardsAteMyFace/
- (Metadata from those emails, filed in court, pointed to Ms. Atas’s involvement.)
- “I also see her as a victim here,” Dr. Essig added. “Tech companies have given her the power to do something that has really taken apart her life.”
- and…At the end of 2019, [Google] introduced a new category of information it will take out of your results: “sites with exploitative removal practices.”
- Yet even that hasn’t solved the problem. See for yourself: Do a Google search for “Guy Babcock.”
- Chaff/cover provided: excellent piece – possibility of using analytics to assess impact on rankings for “Guy Babcock”?
(Jan, 2020: Pew) Most Americans support right to have some personal info removed from online searches
- Given the option, 74% of U.S. adults say it is more important to be able to “keep things about themselves from being searchable online,” while 23% say it is more important to be able to “discover potentially useful information about others.”
(Jan 30, 2020) ‘The First Thing That Comes Up on Google’: The Nightmare of Facebook Listing Your Butthole as a Place
- For eight years, Samantha Rae Anna Jespersen was haunted by an unofficial location page marked “Samantha Rae Anna Jespersen’s Butthole” with a location pin near her high school home
- The entry was created when she was 15, by an unknown person, but until this week, it still lurked at the top of her Google search results.
- [Buzzfeed] “I feel like I should’ve been able to get it removed based off the fact that it was my real name, and I was underage, and since it had my old address.”
Canadian firms should create code to clarify online information take-down policies: Report [IT World Canada, Jan 2018]
- “Canadians need better tools to help them to protect their online reputation,” Therrien said in a statement on the release of the discussion paper.
- “There is little more precious than our reputation. But protecting reputation is increasingly difficult in the digital age, where so much about us is systematically indexed, accessed and shared with just a few keystrokes. Online information about us can easily be distorted or taken out of context and it is often extremely difficult to remove.”
- The report is also calling on Parliament to establish a stronger ability for youth to request and obtain the deletion of information they themselves have posted on social media, and in appropriate cases, information posted about them online by their parents or guardians when they reach the age of majority.
- De-indexing may not be mandatory, it says. In some situations, other solutions (such as lowering the ranking of a result, or flagging it as inaccurate or incomplete) may also be appropriate.
European Union high court sends new signals on reach of internet regulation [American Bar Association Journal, Oct 2019]
- “The right to be forgotten is not intended to be a guarantee that information cannot be accessed,” he says. “It’s simply a means to make it harder and more costly for that information to be obtained.”
How Photos of Your Kids Are Powering Surveillance Technology [NYT, Nov 2019]
- “The reason I went to Flickr originally was that you could set the license to be noncommercial. Absolutely would I not have let my photos be used for machine-learning projects. I feel like such a schmuck for posting that picture. But I did it 13 years ago, before privacy was a thing.”
- J. was incredulous that it wasn’t illegal to put him in the database without his permission, and he is worried about the repercussions.
- “We have become accustomed to trading convenience for privacy, so that has dulled our senses as to what is happening with all the data gathered about us,” said Ms. Jones, the law professor. “But people are starting to wake up.”
- Signed into law more than two decades ago, the law, known as COPPA, seeks to ensure that children under the age of 13 cannot share private information, be targeted by advertising or have their data collected online without their parents’ consent.
Why the internet doesn’t mean “the end of forgetting” [book review]
- The End of Forgetting
- genuinely perceptive sections. One of them is on “screen memories” – a term coined by Freud to describe the way in which we rewrite our memories to manage them better emotionally.
Okay Google: Forget me![Al Jazeera video]
- Frankie Shanley
- Seema Sueko: director – 10:00 we have forgotten how to forget – run to blame – shame –
- Minor infractions in the past lead to…
- Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (2016)
- “the RTBF is a sort of right to speech, in terms of empowering people to have a say regarding their own personal information. As modes of speech become more sophisticated, we need more sophistication in defending and understanding free speech” RightToRemove
- It is the necessary corollary to free speech. It is the application of the right to rehabilitation and reintegration deeply entrenched in laws and ethics worldwide in recognition of the “Human Condition”. If we cannot allow ourselves to make “mistakes” (a highly subjective test) our personal development, expression of controversial views, artistic creativity and “the right to be different” will cease to exist.
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
- “On Personal Data, Forgiveness, and the Right to Be Forgotten,” philosopher Luciano Floridi reflects that there are:
- roughly two ways of looking at personal data. One is in terms of the philosophy of economics. Your data are yours as in ‘My data, my house, my car: I own it… and if you trespass, you are trespassing the boundaries of my property.’ … Then there’s another way of looking at personal information, that’s got to do not with the philosophy of economics—broadly understood—but with the philosophy of mind—the philosophy of personal identity. My data, or my personal memories, are more like my hand, my liver, my lungs, my heart. It’s not that they are mine because I own them; they are mine because they constitute me. .. Making a copy of my data [is] not taking away that data, but there’s something about cloning here, and being intrusive, that’s got nothing to do with trespassing, but more like kidnap.
- “constraining who I am, what I can do, who I can become”
- Forgiveness is based on a management of memory; it’s not based on forgetting
- Closure: remembering without recalling –
- RTBF request from governments; re peaceful cohabitation; e.g. NI – rehashing of history (trauma);
- 06:54 The right to see memory sediment in a way that provides the ground for the future
- Do You Own Your Data? [check for more RTBF]
- “None of Your Damn Business: Privacy in the United States from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age” (University of Chicago Press, 2019) by Lawrence Cappello
- Because there will never be a society in which every individual obeys every rule while also side-stepping every tension and taboo, authorities will always employ some kind of process to ensure a degree of social and cultural conformity. And that process will inevitably violate someone’s—or everyone’s—privacy. It’s just part of the modern social contract.
- Perhaps the most recognizable danger inherent to overt surveillance is that it causes individual inhibition and self-censorship
- If watched long enough, any person may be caught in some form of illegal or immoral activity that can be used against him or her.
- PRIVACY: In the 1890s Justice Louis Brandeis called it “the right to be let alone”.
- In the 1960s the Columbia Law School professor Alan Westin said it was “the claim of individuals, groups or institutions to determine for themselves when, how and to what extent information about them is communicated to others.”
- CAPPELLO: privacy is (mostly) about controlling and limiting access to ourselves and our personal information. The desire for privacy is a fundamental aspect of the human condition. It is a fundamental part of what it means to be alive.
- Dataveillance; the practice of monitoring digital data relating to personal details or online activities.
- Sousveillance; the recording of an activity by a participant in the activity, typically by way of small wearable or portable personal technologies
- the ability to control one’s own private data needs to be recognised as a fundamental human right. And while we’re at it, so too does the “right to be forgotten”—the ability to have information about yourself removed from internet databases after a period of time. Otherwise we’re all bound to end up prisoners of our recorded past.
- Amending PIPEDA to make it clear that privacy is a “fundamental human right” and that PIPEDA is not just a bunch of principles, or even rules, about data protection, but rather (in effect) an intrinsic adjunct to Canada’s constitution.
- PIPEDA was good at the time it came in, but it’s time now for Canada to take its rightful place as a country in which privacy isn’t just a good idea, but rather a right that individuals can expect to exercise and in which businesses know exactly what they have to do to respect privacy rights.
- 2018-2019 Annual Report to Parliament made by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
- 1. The law must endure over time despite changes in technology. This is possible if privacy law is based on underlying values and fundamental rights that “define privacy in its fullest sense.”
Zuckerberg. (2019). A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking. (Facebook)
Quraishi. (2019). Under Employers’ Gaze, Gen Z Is Biting Its Tongue On Social Media. (NPR)
Tufekci. (2019). Think You’re Discreet Online? Think Again. (NYT)
Geist. (2018). Why a Canadian right to be forgotten creates more problems than it solves. [Globe]
Guardian. (2018). Google loses landmark ‘right to be forgotten’ case. [Guardian]
Harris. (2018). How a ‘right to be forgotten’ could trigger a battle over free speech in Canada. [CBC]
Brend. (2018). Don’t count on pot pardons to wipe your record clean, legal experts warn. [CBC]
Guardian. (2018). Tim Cook calls for US federal privacy law to tackle ‘weaponized’ personal data. [Guardian]
Thomson. (2018). Will Canadians soon have the ‘right to be forgotten’ online? Here’s what you need to know. [National Post]
Mendelsohn. (2017). Forget the right to be forgotten in Canada (for now). [lawyer]
Bronskill. (2017). Supreme Court upholds worldwide order directing Google to block content. [CTV]
Futurism. (2017). More Than 80% of Children Have an Online Presence by the Age of Two.
Herlocker. (2015). Stacy Snyder and the Untruth That Won’t Die. [Medium]
Toobin. (2014). The Solace of Oblivion. [The New Yorker]
Economist. (2014). The right to be forgotten: Drawing the line [Paywall]
Arthur. (2014). Explaining the ‘right to be forgotten’ – the newest cultural shibboleth. [Guardian]
Gibbs. (2014). EU to Google: expand ‘right to be forgotten’ to Google.com. [Guardian]
Perez. (2013). The Rise of The Ephemeralnet. [Tech Crunch]
Mayer-Schönberger. (2012). Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age. (.pdf)
Paul-Choudhury. (2011). Digital legacy: The fate of your online soul. [New Scientist]
Rosen. (2010). The Web Means the End of Forgetting. [NYT]
Snyder V Millersville University. (2008). Verdict. (.pdf)
Vietnam Personal Data Protection Regulations In The Making
Turkish social media law consolidates news censorship under ‘right to be forgotten’
(21 July, 2021) Turkey: An Overview On The Right To Be Forgotten