Ryan Heath, spokesman for the European Commission’s vice president, is frustrated with Google’s decision to hide search results about a Merrill Lynch chairman Stan O’Neal, one of the drivers of the 2008 economic meltdown.
Heath “said he could not see a ‘reasonable public interest’ for the action. He added that the ruling should not allow people to ‘Photoshop their lives’.”
But that is exactly what the decision, by an EC court judge (hello, left hand, meet the right hand) does.
And Heath is criticizing Google for obeying the EC’s own law.
Embarrassed EC: Right to be forgotten not a right to “Photoshop your life”
Among the first beneficiaries of the right to be forgotten: An investment banker involved in the global financial crisis.
“Google is confirming the fears of many in the industry that the ‘right to be forgotten’ will be abused to curb freedom of expression and to suppress legitimate journalism that is in the public interest,” writes BBC economics editor Robert Peston.
This is a terrible law. There is no right to be forgotten.
‘Right to be forgotten’: BBC, The Guardian, Daily Mail push back on Google
Jeff Jarvis says the European court’s “right to be forgotten” ruling is terrible, tramples free-speech rights, ironically makes Google more powerful, and makes Europe appear technophobic and anti-American.
A reporter asked me for reaction to news that Google has put up a form to meet a European court’s insane and dangerous ruling and allow people to demand that links to content they don’t like about themselves be taken down. Here’s what I said:
This is a most troubling event for speech, the web, and Europe.
The court has trampled the free-speech rights not only of Google but of the sites — and speakers — to which it links.
The court has undertaken to control knowledge — to erase what is already known — which in concept is offensive to an open and modern society and in history is a device used by tyrannies; one would have hoped that European jurists of all people would have recognized the danger of that precedent.
The right to remember, dammit