Message To Search Engines – Please Open Pandora’s Box

This past Tuesday the ECJ (European Court of Justice) ruled that people can ask Google to delete sensitive information from its internet results. The discussion began after a Spanish man complained that an auction notice to reposes his house appeared on a google search, and infringed his privacy. Since the hearing requests for privacy have been coming in including a politician that requested to suppress any links that lead to news articles about him. The guidelines that outline which requests implement, and which to ignore, are very loose. How these search engines are going to handle the inundated number of requests will be interesting to follow. The questions I leave to everyone is will this get out of hand? And how far beyond search engines will the implications go?

It’s easy to see how out of hand this can get. Think beyond search engines to other platforms that could be affected if this ruling gains ground. What if Facebook’s social graph had to omit data to disconnect people from other people? How could that affect local businesses that may use that social graph to target advertise to new customers based off of their current ones? I am not sure how long this ruling will be enacted, but one thing for sure is the that the butterfly affect it could have on other social platforms who depend on data to optimize efficiency could be beyond comprehension.

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3 thoughts on “Message To Search Engines – Please Open Pandora’s Box

  1. Interesting topic. Online privacy has been a rising issue recently and the more we learn about how data and marketing agencies use and share our personal information the more issues will arise. I believe that people should have the right to take down information about themselves that they don’t want on the web. Unfortunately the internet has become almost impossible to censor because of all the information we voluntarily and involuntarily put out there.

  2. The biggest question I have is how do you define “sensitive” in these cases? I could see a situation where this could easily get out of hand. Moreover how does this affect the ad culture that dominates the internet. Would companies be less willing to purchase ads on google or Facebook if they knew that their databases would be constantly altered by the loss of potentially essential information such as credit card purchases for example?

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