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Why the BBC is wrong to republish ‘right to be forgotten’ links
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julio 1, 2015
4:24 pm
Joel Gómez Treviño
México, D.F.
Forum Posts: 204
Member Since:
julio 27, 2011
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Why the BBC is wrong to republish ‘right to be forgotten’ links.


The BBC really doesn’t like the right to be forgotten. Director of editorial policy, David Jordan, has termed it “unsearching – an ugly word for an ugly process”. Big data advisor, James Leaton Gray, says it makes him nervous. And now Neil McIntosh, managing editor of BBC Online, has republished a list of 182 BBC links that have been partially obscured by Google over the past year, after Europe’s highest court commanded Google to start respecting European data protection law.

Crucially, the BBC links are not removed from Google or the web, as McIntosh’s post misleadingly implied. Instead, as Google corrected, they are only delisted in a very selective way – from top search results on particular individuals’ names, where those individuals have made a solid case for obscurity.

They are a modest correction against failures in algorithmic prioritisation on the indelible web. Before the requests go to the BBC, individuals must prove to Google – which has every interest in rejecting their claim – that the links contain personal information that is inaccurate, irrelevant or out of date, and holds no public interest.

Joel Alejandro Gómez Treviño

Socio de Lex Informática Abogados, S.C.
Profesor del ITESM, Universidad Panamericana, La Salle e INFOTEC


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