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Re: do we have a right to be forgotten?

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 23:19:52 +0200
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Cc: "public-privacy (W3C mailing list)" <public-privacy@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5jsrq65g02hjpr5vqm8u43lkqtvd8l4c56@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>
* David Singer wrote:
>On Apr 15, 2011, at 15:42 , Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:
>> * David Singer wrote:
>>> I don't think we do have a right to delete public information about us. 
>>> I am not sure it's achievable (can you imagine trying to get a server in
>>> Zimbabwe cleaned of information?).  I'm not sure it's technically
>>> definable or achievable.  And I am not sure it's even desirable for me,
>>> let alone for society as a whole -- as I said, if the mechanism exists
>>> to make someone's records disappear, who is to say who has their hand on
>>> the lever?
>> [...]

>However, I am not sure that the digital age introduces any new problems with
>regards to handling false or unduly invasive publishing, over, say,
>newspapers. We have social and legal mechanisms for dealing with that already,

Well let's say someone maintains a diary. Someone else breaks into their
house, steals the diary, and distributes thousands of copies of it. It'd
seem in some juristictions that the author of the diary could, say, have
police seize all copies of it. If so, the author would seem to have the
"right" and the mechanism to "delete" "public" "information about them".

Note that there may be various reasons for this result, for instance, a
court might hold that the copies are illegitimate because the original
has never been published, or because the copier obtained it in a manner
contrary to the law, or the author's rights as the author are being
violated, or publishing a diary without consent is simply wrong. It may
also be that it's not a diary of fact, but one of fiction.

I assume you did not mean to say that in this example the author of the
diary absolutely must tolerate these copies and should not have a means
to limit their distribution. On the other hand, if the author should be
able to do something about it, and if that is some sort of consensus in
society, then the mechanisms, the levers, would exist in some form. So,
I don't understand what you meant to say, in particular, why you high-
lighted mostly technical issues.

I think you read "do we have a right to be forgotten" differently than
I do, and I was hoping to unroot some cause for misunderstanding here.
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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Received on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 21:20:14 UTC

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