Big Data is fundamental

lespressoAn interview in October 2014 on the central importance of Big Data, the role of large data holders such as Google, and the right to be forgotten, with Professor Mayer-Schönberger was published in the Italian journal l’espresso with the knowledgable Antonio Rossano (in Italian). Mayer-Schönberger was in Naples, Italy, to speak at the 2014 Future Forum on the role of Big Data to change our perspective on reality.

An “intellectual godfather of the right to be forgotten”?

200px-Original_New_Yorker_coverIn a comprehensive, detailed and balanced article (“The Solace of Oblivion“, September 29, 2014 Issue) in the NEW YORKER on the right to be forgotten, how it came about, what it entails and what it might mean, Jeffrey Tobin extensively quotes Professor Mayer-Schönberger, after calling him “one the intellectual godfathers of the right to be forgotten”. Well worth a read.

What exactly is the “right to be forgotten”?

TheguardianAfter 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.

“Do I Have the Right to be Forgotten?”

BBC_Radio_4Professor Viktor Mayer Schönberger was featured in a BBC Radio 4 documentary this evening entitled “Do I Have the Right to be Forgotten?” In the program exploring the digital footprints that ordinary individuals establish over time, he explained that large companies such as Google collect all the search queries we ever type. Having this ever growing tranche of data about us stored digitally, we fail to have the ability to forget, and in turn lose a great deal of freedom – ironically the very freedom that newspapers and search engines claim to be protecting. Digital memory gives those who have control over digital images of us the power to manage our history.