What law is applicable to oblivion in the Internet?

The right to be forgotten is a recurring theme in Internet search engines from the world. Are we entitled to that others can not find on Google or circumstances in our past that has been overcome? And opinions, images or videos in your day published in a social network, or blog, and today we repent or hurt us? A recent judgment of the Superior Court of Justice of the European Union has said yes and also said that the responsibility to prevent such content visible in a search is the search itself, not the original page where sensitive data resides. Yet another very different thing is that this right is easy to implement. The sentence, the reactions to it and its difficult implementation are explained below.

What is the right to be forgotten?

It is the law that, in theory, all Internet privacy has on the data sets on any website, be it a personal blog, a social platform or service. In 2011 Eroski CONSUMER published a comprehensive article, ‘The right to be forgotten: can leave the entire Internet?’, which breaks down the different circumstances of the debate.

According to the various agencies of national data protection, the private data that a user leaves a site can not be disclosed or sold to third parties by the companies, except with express consent. This concept personal data such as email accounts, residence addresses, phone numbers, etc. are welcome. But also expressed opinions or images in social networks by us or by others should be included? Or statements, or official communications of any incriminating crime or criminal or economic failure, we have committed in the past and appear in official publications or media?

The Spanish lawyer Mario Costeja denounced before a Spanish court in Google, because the search for his name was an embargo the news in the past for debt to Social Security. Costeja claimed his right to such a reference does not appear to other users, because it entailed personal and professional obstacles, even though the debt was already paid. Other people have had similar claims in separate courts for offenses and penalties or fines paid, so, in theory, have the right to start over. But in court complaints from people whose discharges a day on social networks have perpetuated and replicated in other pages and eventually appear in search engine results accumulate.

Oblivion is a right, according to the EU

The judgment of the Superior Court of Justice of the European Union in response to the query from a Spanish court is advisory and therefore, for the moment, not mandatory. This ruling clarifies that, in effect, citizens are entitled to the contents or news of the past are forgotten, at least by the search engines, if you can not delete them completely of websites and social platforms, and also in the event that information appears in official publications or past news media.

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The European Court recognizes that it can not alter the past, both because it is almost impossible technically, and that the alteration of history can be morally unacceptable. But instead, he does believe that can be applied to the technical means that sensitive data from being a “technical forgetting.” That is, the search engines do not index them and therefore are not as easy to access for any user.

European judgment considers seekers more than mere transmission links -something these claims to not have to apply the right to be forgotten-and says engaged in processing and analysis of data, and are responsible for what appears on the search results. Therefore, entrusted with the technical task of preventing certain information appear if they claim affected users.

Not everyone agrees

The reactions to the European judgment have not been as enthusiastic on the Web and beyond. Of course, companies like Google or Facebook, they have a long history of controversial privacy, are disappointed, but some activists have voiced their disapproval.

Enrique Dans analyst points out in his blog that the ruling involves the application of filters to the card user in search engines. According Dans, carried out only the right to forget information in Google increasingly skewed and unreal, like each user to be achieved, and the search engine will lose its true meaning as compiler and contrastador information.

The lawyer Carlos Sanchez Almeida has opined in the past regarding the right to oblivion. According to Sánchez Almeida, largely responsible for what is published is up to users and emphasizes that social networks offer good tools to modulate the level of privacy of content posted.

Also another lawyer, David Maeztu, stated in his day in his blog that the right to be forgotten name is incorrect and in fact what it is is the claim for wrongful publication of data, whether personal or social networks unjust sentences or wrong in official publications or media. According Maeztu, the law provides channels to demand the removal of this information, when deemed a judge, without loading the searchers responsibility.

Meanwhile, Victor Dominguez, president of the Association of Internet, believes that the statement generates more legal uncertainty by giving Google the power over what should be seen on the results and what is not. According to Dominguez, the judgment “gives Google a power it does not deserve”.

Is it possible the implementation of the right to be forgotten?

Technically, most analysts believe that the application of a selective filter by Google and other search engines is a complex and expensive task. They argue that the search must select the critical links and avoid intentionally, when prepared for the opposite: to collect as much information and offer it as the criteria in the search. The problem becomes greater when sensitive data has been replicated in several different pages to the original.

However, search engines have said from the beginning of this debate that there is a simple way to avoid unwanted searches. It is that, in the pages where the information is located, its administrators make “invisible” to the search links to the content controversial, so that it does not detect them. Here we show that the responsibility for the visibility of the content is the page that houses it, just the opposite of what you said Brussels.

Furthermore, at the administrative level, the seeker must define which users and which affects the standard does not, because the ruling applies only to searches conducted by the European Union.

Moreover, in legal terms, the search engine that is claimed not to index a content request may appeal to the courts, so the removal process would be extended. In this regard, Google has a page where you can order the removal of indexed search content for the study if appropriate.

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