Web ruling will ‘raise the bar’ for internet use

Prof Luciano Floridi is a professor of philosophy and the ethics of information at Oxford University

Prof Luciano Floridi is a professor of philosophy and the ethics of information at Oxford University

First published in News

AN Oxford professor has said that a controversial legal ruling will change the way hundreds of millions of people use the internet.

Prof Luciano Floridi, a professor of philosophy and the ethics of information at Oxford University, has been appointed by Google to work out how it should comply with the landmark ruling that means people can ask for their personal information to be removed.

The European Union Court of Justice has ruled that people have the “right to be forgotten”, meaning some of their details have to be taken down if they request it.

Speaking to The Independent, Prof Floridi said the main beneficiaries of the ruling are “reputation management companies”.

He said: “They now have the power to ask for embarrassing information about their clients to be removed.

“If I was the chief executive of a reputation management company, I would be laughing.”

He said that the ruling “raised the bar so high that the old rules of the internet no longer apply”.

Prof Floridi is director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute, which is based in St Giles.

The case which triggered the ruling was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy.

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Comments (3)

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8:14pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

A message saying:-

"European legislation prohibits this result being displayed"

Will do more damage than a regular result could.
A message saying:- "European legislation prohibits this result being displayed" Will do more damage than a regular result could. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

8:15pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

A message saying:-

"European legislation prohibits this result being displayed"

Will do more damage than a regular result could.
A message saying:- "European legislation prohibits this result being displayed" Will do more damage than a regular result could. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

11:19am Wed 4 Jun 14

ashleyc says...

It sounds to me that Prof Floridi has only heard the slightest of details about this ruling. It is not as simple as being able to request the removal of any result you don't like - it's specifically in regards to incorrect or outdated information (the Spanish man in question had results about a debt recovery auction coming up for his name but it dated from 1998) Each and every request has to be considered before removal and anything found to be in the public interest will automatically be kept.
Don't get me wrong, I think forcing Google to remove results when the original data is kept is stupid, but it isn't as simple as anyone being able to manipulate results however they like.
It sounds to me that Prof Floridi has only heard the slightest of details about this ruling. It is not as simple as being able to request the removal of any result you don't like - it's specifically in regards to incorrect or outdated information (the Spanish man in question had results about a debt recovery auction coming up for his name but it dated from 1998) Each and every request has to be considered before removal and anything found to be in the public interest will automatically be kept. Don't get me wrong, I think forcing Google to remove results when the original data is kept is stupid, but it isn't as simple as anyone being able to manipulate results however they like. ashleyc
  • Score: 0

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