The ‘Right To Be Anonymous’ on Google
You can feel it in the online air – a change is coming. Following an EU court ruling earlier this week, data about individuals held by Google must be deleted on request.
The content will still be available at the source, but Google will no longer link to those pages, making it extremely hard for people to track certain information without prior knowledge of the URL.
It’s been named ‘the right to be anonymous’, as that is basically what it’s all about. A similar law was proposed around 2 years ago, but was opposed by Google. Immediately following the new ruling, Google received an undisclosed amount of requests from individuals wanting certain information about them to be removed. Something I can only imagine will only grow, and could get messy unless Google take measures to ensure requests are dealt with.
It’s a topical debate, with the freedom of expression coming up against the right to privacy. So which side are you on? As a person who is self-aware of their online presence, I fully support this right. I’m reminded of an example where a woman was hunted down by an abusive ex-boyfriend after pictures and information of her were shared online revealing her location, and that information fuelled a further incident that could have been avoided altogether had it not been posted.
On the other hand, some argue the right to be forgotten will undermine the strength and resource of the internet. It’ll be interesting to see how this one turns out, as we await the ramifications of this important change from Google.