Digitales Vergessen – eine Debatte

DIEZEITDie ZEIT Online nahm das Erscheinen der deutschsprachigen Ausgabe von Professor Mayer-Schönbergers preisgekröntem Buch “Delete – Die Tugend des Vergessens in digitalen Zeiten” zum Anlass einer Debatte zwischen den Redakteuren Karsten Polke-Majewski (pro) und Kai Biermann (contra) über die Bedeutsamkeit, Notwendigkeit, und Umsetzbarkeit eines digitalen Vergessens.

“Governance and Information Technology” favorably reviewed

utis20.v031.i01.coverItir Akdogan has reviewed “Governance and Information Technology”, edited by Professors Mayer-Schönberger and Lazer and published by MIT Press, in “The Information Society” (25: 73-74, 2009), and his verdict is that he “very confidently and highly recommend[s]” the book to anyone research, teaching or imply being interested in knowing and exploring e-government.

“Delete” reviewed in NATURE

natureStanford professor Fred Turner reviewed Professor Mayer-Schönberger’s recent book “Delete” in NATURE, and liked it. He concludes by saying “If Mayer-Schönberger is right – and I’m convinced he is – then the old Kris Kristofferson song might be true after all: in the future, freedom could be just another word for nothing left to lose.” The full review is here.

New book “Delete” published

Top academic publishing house Princeton University Press has just released “Delete – The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age“, Professor Mayer-Schönberger’s brand new book on the importance of human forgetting, the shift due to digital tools towards comprehensive remembering, and the dire consequences this shift may entail for everyone of us, and for society at large. Going far beyond conventional privacy and data protection arguments, “Delete” argues that undoing forgetting may limit our ability to forgive each other and ourselves, and to constrain our ability to act and decide in the present as we remain tethered to an ever more detailed remembered past.

Not content with just sketching out the challenge ahead of us, in this book Professor Mayer-Schönberger evaluates various options to confront the challenge, and – concluding that no silver bullet exists – also suggests a creative solution: building the ability to forget into the digital tools we use. Labeled “expiration dates” for personal information, this approach is not a technical fix to the ills of comprehensive remembering, but is rather intended to remind us humans time and again that most information is linked to a particular temporal context and thus loses its relevance over time.

Chapter one is free to download.