Europe and the Right to be Forgotten

The European Court of Justice has ordered Google to remove Information from their Search Results of anyone who asks.

The court’s decision means that individuals can ask Google or other search operators to take down links to web pages that are published by third parties, such as newspapers, containing information relating to them. That doesn’t mean that the article or website has to be removed or altered by the original publisher. It would only affect search results compiled by search engine operators like Google. – Google’s Legal Blow: What ‘the Right to Be Forgotten’ Means

Of course, this could ramifications for Libraries because we have all sorts of Databases to choose from? Will Lexis/Nexis have to remove Legal Cases that someone doesn’t like? What about the Polk Street Directory? And there is another aspect.

Given the U.S. now defines corporations as people too, can future regulations intended to protect individual right to privacy be used by corporations to erase past transgressions from Internet searches so that researchers, journalists, attorneys and others cannot find that information? And what of politicians? Can they cover up criminal arrests and investigations and other information voters should know on the grounds that such information is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant?” – Google must purge search results on demand, says EU court

I can understand the desire but I think the decision itself was ill-considered.

Note: If you don’t get the significance of the flowers, they are “Forget-Me-Nots.”