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This is overreaching . . . Ottawa’s ‘right to be forgotten’ proposal will let powerful people censor the web

This is overreaching . . .

Ottawa’s ‘right to be forgotten’ proposal will let powerful people censor the web

Gabe Rottman: The Privacy Commissioner would let public figures force search engines and online publishers to delete embarrassing content

“The commissioner’s draft position paper only provides concrete guidance on public figures once, and in the context of removing information from search results. The paper says that an individual’s status as a public figure is but one factor to consider in determining whether it is in the public interest for a search result to remain online (in the same discussion, the commissioner suggests that whether information is in the public interest is only one “relevant consideration,” not the primary one).:”

I disagree with editing the news based on any individual or public figures request.

“This problem is even worse under the commissioner’s proposal. Just making a request for de-indexing or takedown will be relatively inexpensive, so there’s nothing stopping the prominent and powerful from swamping search engines and online publishers with meritless de-indexing and takedown requests. But, in many or most cases, it will take resources to get a court to ultimately issue a binding order if they choose not to comply — so only those with means can really get their requests enforced.

Ultimately, the proposed policy lacks appropriate guidance for search engines and online publishers, and government enforcers, on how to handle requests involving information about public figures or people whose records are of public importance. It fails to include bright-line rules like an actual malice test. Indeed, the right rule here would hold that speech about public figures is presumptively beyond the reach of a de-indexing or takedown request.

It’s not too late to preserve the Canadian right to free speech, and the enforcement process should demand that clear and consistent rules be implemented as the policy is enforced.

Gabe Rottman is the director of the Technology and Press Freedom Project at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which recently filed comments on behalf of news organizations critical of the proposed policy. Postmedia was not involved.”



Posted on: May 26, 2018, 6:22 am Category: Uncategorized

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