After the European Court of Justice’s decision to reaffirm the “right to be forgotten” in its decision against Google, many around the world have felt the need to comment. Some have gone as far as predicting wide-ranging censorship, or the end of free speech. Humbug, says Professor Mayer-Schönberger, whose book “Delete” provided one of the first comprehensive arguments in favor of digital forgetting, and explains in an op-ed (“Omission of search results is not a ‘right to be forgotten’ or the end of Google”) in the GUARDIAN why the European Court of Justice decision is not instituting a true “right to be forgotten”, nor does it spell the end of Google.
The Guardian reported this week on the latest NSA mass surveillance revelations, quoting Professor Mayer-Schönberger’s notion that the large US Internet companies, such as Google, Twitter and Facebook have potentially lost what is most valuable and most difficult to regain, the trust of their customers around the world to vigilantly guard their data rather than cooperating with the NSA. If left unaddressed, this might turn into a lasting competitive disadvantage for these firms and for the US digital economy.
The Guardian just published an expose of Professor Mayer-Schönberger and his ground-breaking work on the importance of forgetting in the digital age. Full with quotes and based on an extensive interview with Professor Mayer-Schönberger the article describes why forgetting matters and the context in which it should take place.
Steven Poole reviews new Internet books in the Guardian, including Mayer-Schönberger’s and Cukier’s recent international bestseller “Big Data“, and writes that they “laudably demolish some of the more ludicrous big-data fantasies”. He is particularly interested in the role of “algorithmists”, as proposed in “Big Data”.