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Re: do we have a right to be forgotten?

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 14:40:52 -0700
Cc: "public-privacy (W3C mailing list)" <public-privacy@w3.org>
Message-id: <7AF18B56-F75C-4F99-A86D-0C77F7AADD81@apple.com>
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>

On Apr 19, 2011, at 14:19 , Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:

> 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.

In the first case, I think I am distinguishing true information that was legitimately public, or that someone legitimately knows about you, from statements which are either (a) untrue (slanderous, libellous) or (b) illegitimately held.  I think that we probably have recourse against cases (a) and (b) already.

Then, secondly, I also am distinguishing the complete erasure implied by being forgotten, with a request to a specific entity that you no longer wish them to hold your records. The right to see, annotate, and maybe remove, information from a specific repository is again something that already has a fair amount of law and practice behind it.

So, I am left with a general statement to 'the internet' (whoever that may be) 'please forget that Bjoern exists or ever has'.  Apart from being unimplementable and unenforceable, I see this as also undesirable -- how can we be sure that it is Bjoern, acting on his own free will, making that request, for example?

I am deeply troubled by the detail, persistence, and reach of the information that is being collected about everyone. I agree that digital data has a degree of detail, persistence and reach that far exceeds the older records, and that that change of degree makes a qualitative difference.

In general, I guess I am doing here what I am doing with other subjects ... asking what is meant by 'be forgotten'. So, we may be drilling down on the same subject.

What do you understand it to mean?

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 21:41:20 GMT

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