Wikimedia: Right to be forgotten results in ‘Internet riddled with memory holes’

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7 August 2014 | 0

According to Wikimedia’s executive director, Lila Tretikov, the CJEU’s decision is “undermining the world’s ability to freely access accurate and verifiable records about individuals and events,” she said in a blog post.

By implementing a crude right to be forgotten the court “abandoned its responsibility to protect one of the most important and universal rights: the right to seek, receive, and impart information,” Tretikov said.

“As a consequence, accurate search results are vanishing in Europe with no public explanation, no real proof, no judicial review, and no appeals process. The result is an Internet riddled with memory holes – places where inconvenient information simply disappears,” she said.

The ruling does not mandate that search engines disclose link censorship. But Wikimedia will be posting notices for each indefinite removal of Wikipedia search results on a dedicated page, she said.

Wikimedia’s critique on the ruling echoes others who have similar grievances with the court’s decision.

Google for instance already described the guidelines for removing query results as “very vague and subjective,” and found that some people who are seeking to scrub their histories from the Web are being economical with the truth when making their requests.

Meanwhile, European data protection authorities met with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to discuss the ruling. The authorities aim to issue guidelines to ensure a consistent implementation of the ruling this autumn.

Loek Essers, IDG News Service

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