Mind-boggling debate around the legal right being used in some countries, dubbed ‘The Right to Be Forgotten’ that allows you to remove embarrassing information or pictures you put on the web — and do it permanently, totally. So the question is, should people be allowed to erase their mistakes from the internet?
Radiolab is excellent, as always.
A few thoughts:
1.Kind of makes me wonder if there’s a program or system that can track how an image has “threaded” through the internet and trace it to its original source (even when the copied images weren’t ‘hotlinked’.. I guess it would have to log/recognize IP addresses when downloaded or offlined, but the system couldn’t “fetch” the data… at least legally). It also makes me wonder if there could be another system for immediate image removal that can ‘detonate’ throughout the whole identified picture thread (except I guess offline/ private server data would still be outstanding). Maybe that’s a little too sci-fi now? ;) But I can’t imagine the process of getting major search engines to block access to search term results or manually detonating each supposedly ruinous image one by one (and then, after all, still knowing the images may be out there in droves anyway once you went through all the trouble. If you’re like Yesica, I guess the relief would be that someone couldn’t google-search their way to the content using the terms in question). Still, re-posted and copied data would be an incredible obstacle to get rid off. I can’t imagine this would fly well in America. I actually feel a movie coming on: ERASURE, the sci-fi thriller starring Mark Wahlberg, about the public world and personal lives of internet data controllers… lol.
2. If/when people begin citing the “Right to Be Forgotten”, a major priority of these giant search engines and social media sites will be to minimize their investment of time and money as they kind of take on the role of worldwide arbiters of unfortunate teen decisions (among others…). Their best interest may be to take the one-fell swoop approach and perhaps block that person’s data and search items by date (yikes, but then they run into the problem of removing content from search that didn’t belong the defendant…hmm…). Assuming this may be legally and technologically possible in some way as this legal ‘right’ evolves, this means the defendants may have to choose between losing both valuable data and potentially harmful data… or being able to keep both. Maybe my idea is too amateur, but in order to do this work, I imagine these large corporations will want to externalize the costs and pain where they can. They will want to bring down the value (and thus the requests) of this highly-attractive legal provision (should it effectively pass overseas).
3. There are so many legal, financial, and ethical implications of this law that it really is mind-boggling.