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.”

Posted by Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997. Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident. Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida. He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995. However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999. In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.

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