Talk for Article "Google got 2.4m requests ‘to be forgotten’; Syria fighting pauses"

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    There is a valuable comment on Hacker News about the report: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16471105

    Copying here:

    The article omits what I think is probably the most important datum: ‘0.2% of requesters accounted for 20.8% of all accepted delistings. Many of these frequent requesters were individuals using law firms and reputation management services.’ That’s a total of about 214,000 URLS deleted on account of 1000 individuals. The most prolific requester requested 5,768 URLs relating them be removed. It’s unstated how many of these were approved.

    The sort of individuals using law firms and reputation management services to try to erase information about themselves from public access, are generally going to be the individuals whose information has the most probable public utility. But they’re also the individuals who can most threaten Google with lawsuits and other difficulties should they not comply.

    The internet is something that will live on long after we’re all dead, and it is creating a living chronicle of the times. The more this chronicle is interfered with, the less valuable this information will be. Einstein’s ‘marital demands’ [1] (not what you might think) of his wife would almost certainly fall within this ‘right to be forgotten’ yet they now provide a all too rare glimpse at the less ‘sculptured’ life of one of the most important figures in history. This yin and yang, good and bad, nature of people helps provide a more balanced, and less idealistic view of actors in the past – and present.

    Perhaps the thing becoming ever more clear is that search is something that needs to be decentralized. It’s all too easy for the player in control to exploit the data for their own personal benefit, and they also end up working as a single point of failure for access to said information.

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