The 'Right to be Forgotten' - Ode to Solitude
Alexander Pope is making a 21st Century comeback.
I'd love to be in Google's conference room as the team there decides just how to adhere to a European court's decision that European citizens have a right to be forgotten (on Google).
Or what about email? A UK court just took a British retailer to task—John Lewis—for having a pre-checked form box for new customers that permits an email communication to the paying customer, along with an easy-to-use opt-out. The court found that a customer having to uncheck a box is just too taxing, and more than that, a privacy violation.
Here's an interesting Ken Magill point of view.
I confess that I, too, am a bit of a reactionary to all of this. If commerce is so evil, if advertising is such a privacy violation, maybe we should just pack it up and go back to serving consumers and making money—and paying taxes, and generating jobs—here at home.
Can you imagine what types of costs Google will incur in its attempt to comply—never mind the impact on Google's utility in Europe? Certainly John Lewis is taking the matter seriously, as it should. As reported in The Register (UK):
A John Lewis spokeswoman said: "Mr Mansfield voluntarily gave us his email address, set up an account online and chose not to opt out of marketing communications when that option was available to him. This case was a very specific set of circumstances and in this instance whilst we do not agree with the decision, we will abide by it. We apologise to Mr Mansfield that he was inconvenienced by our emails."
Let's be sure none of this zaniness creeps into our policy and case law here (ethics and best practices are another story), for the sake of our economy.