• http://twitter.com/IanLockwood Ian Lockwood

    “One gets the sense that if a European search engine were in Google’s position, on
    the receiving end of these complaints, the Spanish regulator’s attitude might be quite different.”

    Got any evidence for that Greg? Sounds like the usual isolationist, cultural imperialist perspective of the US to me. Just because Uncle Sam doesn’t see a problem with companies riding roughshod over individuals’ rights, doesn’t mean it’s the correct legal or moral position.

    In this case, I’m inclined to agree that the Spanish can’t have it both ways – you’re either a publisher with according freedom of speech protection, or you’re a company making libellous statements. You can’t be both.

    However, I’m not sure your suggestion that a company from elsewhere in the world would be treated any differently is correct and I resent the underlying tone of “tut tut, those silly Europeans and their anti-American agenda.”

  • http://www.moviein3d.net/ Caitlin Roberts

    Maybe Google should pull out of the Spanish market? It is not that difficult is it, if you are not happy with the laws of the land where you operate, you leave.

  • Greg Sterling

    I think it’s pretty clear that there’s widespread resentment for Google partly on the basis of its behavior and partly because it’s a US corp. (Denying the latter point is naive.)

    Yes, you’re right there’s a perception that Google is part or a larger internet “imperialist” wave of US companies (incl. Facebook) that holds too much sway globally. Hence the resentment — although that’s not what you meant I realize.

    Think about the French for example and their attitude toward American companies and institutions. Ambivalent at best.

    I think non-EU companies might be regarded with similar skepticism but I don’t believe that a Spanish or EU-based search engine would face the same “double standard” here. I’m not a Google partisan I just think there’s hypocrisy going on.

    The evidence of that is Google being treated as a publisher for liability purposes (libel) but not from a “right of expression” perspective.

    I don’t consider European privacy regulators silly and I believe that the culture of American business/capitalism is too lax and exploitative when it comes to individual privacy. I just think the Spanish position in this case is a bit ridiculous.