• http://www.dropdigger.com/ Carl Eisenstein

    He already has every right to be forgotten: sue El Pais for libel, prove that he shouldn’t have a bad mark against his name, get them to take down the article, and pretty soon Google will forget about that page. Ridiculous – people just don’t understand… well… life sometimes! It’s not a techy thing.

  • http://www.buzzmaven.com scottclark

    @carl – not always possible. I have a client who was simply accused of a crime, later vindicated. Another who was fined for an administrative snafu – paid is debt.

    The accusatory documents are presented by the State govt. in question in public court records. They rank #1 on Google due to the high authority of the .gov/.state sites and the uniqueness of this persons’ name.

    Both of these people must constantly explain the situation. It’s caused them both to go through economic hardship. The states do not listen to requests for removal. In fact, the states didn’t even know the docs appeared on Google.

  • http://www.dropdigger.com/ Carl Eisenstein

    @scottclark: Time for some reputation management services! :)

    I still think though – in the modern world where data can be found so easily – there should be a requirement in cases like that for the state to have a big ‘person acquitted’ banner at the top or similar. I understand the frustration of the people you mention, and can see where the difficulty lies, but I don’t think it’s up to Google to judge whether someone is guilty or not and accordingly censor the search results. The onus should be on the person, company or authority publishing the information.

    After all – are they also going to subsequently sue Bing, Yahoo and Ask? It’s not realistic or practical.

    This guy’s legal complaint should be with El Pais. The people you mentioned should have a complaint against the state. Just because you can find that document on Google isn’t grounds for complaint IMHO.

  • http://nut-a-tut.blogspot.com nuttynupur

    Very interesting. The doctor can publish his side of the story online, then see whether it comes up in results?

  • http://blogo.it FM

    This is starting to be emplyed by celebrities as a reputation shaping tool out here in Italy, just for deleting this and that even when totally independent from any previous legal confrontation on the matter.

  • http://www.alfonsan.com alfonsan

    I’m from Spain and I would like to add that “El Pais” is a newspaper owned by a large media company called “Prisa” backed up by current Spanish government, that makes it quite difficult to take action against them, unfortunately in Spain the division of power don’t work very well, we are not a third world country but we still have work left to do..

    That doctor prefers to take action against a foreign company rather than one of the pro government media groups.

    I also remember Google’s CEO talking at Colbert show that SEs have to forgive while humans don’t. I know they have to forgive what is no longer available in the web, but shall they forgive very old and outdated documents no longer relevant but still available in the web?

  • Flemming

    Cases like this make you wonder, how about public libraries that store newspapers from many years ago – should acces to theese be forbidden too?
    Or is it just a question from the legislators about how easy the information is to acces?

    Regulations like the proposed is the wrong way to go about it in modern society, but seems to be the way we are heading.
    If in doubt, just look at the cookie regulations which are right now passing through the EU parliament.