Right to be forgotten online is all well and good, but...

I LOVE Google. I really do.

It's slightly strange writing this, but the fact it has been a vital part of my internet experience for what feels like forever has compelled me to say it openly.

I would even say I have the Googliness - it's intangible stuff - to work there.

That's why this week I read with interest about how a court case was redefining Googling for our overseas chums.

After all, things tend to trickle their way around the world.

The European Court of Justice ruled that internet search engines were responsible for protecting personal data that appeared on web pages published by third parties.

Search engines will now have to respond to legitimate requests from individuals to delete certain types of private information from their records.

The Euro judges say people have a right to be forgotten.

"Hurrah" you may declare. A victory for the individual against the vast and colourful Google machine.

Is it all positive?

The ruling suggest that links may need to be removed even if the data it links to is completely accurate.

Who do you imagine will benefit from that - everyday decent people or weasels with wealth?

If this ruling is applied to Australia without provisos to the famous, I can think of several politicos who might already be penning their demands to make sure no embarrassing references, or photos of inappropriate napping, pop up.

What pre-election promises? As for the crims - what conviction?

What's next? People marching into a newspaper offices insisting on every copy where their own words implicate themselves?

So, while it is one thing to protect individuals, this must be weighed against the public interest.

The right to be forgotten must not become the right of the powerful to airbrush the past.



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