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Re: do we have a right to be forgotten?

From: Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 22:37:19 -0400
Message-Id: <F703EA3B-9277-4F35-B12A-47B14D79FC7F@opera.com>
Cc: "public-privacy (W3C mailing list)" <public-privacy@w3.org>
To: "Aleecia M. McDonald" <aleecia@aleecia.com>

Le 19 avr. 2011 à 19:11, Aleecia M. McDonald a écrit :
> At a high level, I understand data retention as being about a given entity limiting what data they hold about anyone, where being forgotten is about a specific person or specific bit of information being omitted anywhere. 

There is a notion of control/power on the personal data. 

* who has control on them?
* to which extent these data are kept?

forgetting is a natural human process. We forget things. We make room for other things, because we need to move forward. Other things take priority in the brain. An additional feature is that we do not remember perfectly. We have partial and broken information. We interpret and transmit the information partially in broken ways. All of these are a social feature. 

The same way remembering is a social feature too ;) paradox.

In the right to be forgotten, we introduce the notion of giving someone the possibility to erase the data. 

For example, once a Web site was indexed by a search engine and you put a robots.txt, it then first disappear from the index but kept in cache and will eventually disappear altogether. I tested that one. It took a few years before being effective, but eventually in Google or Web archive.

It had interesting consequences such as raising the quality of communications with people writing me email. Less random communications coming from people discovering one Web page of my Web site. Google is big decontextualization engine (but that's another topic).

Data retention is on the other end of the spectrum. 

Forgetting could be failure of machines (memories), but here we are more talking about being able 

1. block aggregation
2. have more control on the granularity of sharing
3. access to modify what has been shared.
4. erasing what has been shared. 

The irony is that the more the data are centralized, the easier it is to erase, but also the more vulnerable you become. 

Karl Dubost - http://dev.opera.com/
Developer Relations & Tools, Opera Software
Received on Wednesday, 20 April 2011 02:37:57 UTC

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