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Re: ENISA and the right to be forgotten

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 10:45:22 -0800
Message-id: <061874AB-662C-49AD-8994-5FB033724864@apple.com>
To: "public-privacy (W3C mailing list)" <public-privacy@w3.org>

On Dec 6, 2012, at 3:03 , Christine Runnegar <runnegar@isoc.org> wrote:

> - For any reasonable interpretation of the right to be forgotten, a purely technical and comprehensive solution to enforce the right in the open Internet is generally impossible.

Unfortunately I think this 'right' is badly labelled.  The only sense one has this is when (a) the data was collected under an agreement between you and the collector and (b) the agreement did not include the ability to disseminate.

Under those circumstances, indeed, one could withdraw permission to collect, and could exercise the right to forget.  

But if the data was collected simply by observing me (without needing or getting my consent), how do I even know who has it, and even if I do, what right do I have to tell people 'forget you saw me in the pharmacy yesterday' (I think, none)?  And if the data has been disseminated, what right do I have to cause the copies to be chased, and what puts the recipients of copies under any obligation?

I find this right troubling both philosophically and practically, as does this paper, it seems.

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Monday, 10 December 2012 18:46:10 GMT

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