Do we have the right to be forgotten?

Old article, but for some reason, I’m feeling like writing about old news.

As I said in my previous blog post, I’m all about transparency…as long as it doesn’t offend anyone or mess up your chances at getting that job. If I write an article, I don’t care if it floats out there. If I make a bad decision, I live with the consequences of it.

However, I very rarely make bad decisions that are documented. And if I do, I try to keep it off of the open web. If anything, the worse that happens is it gets posted on Facebook, untagged and unconnected to my account. In this way, I can chalk it up to youthful indiscretion, yet not actually have it affect me. I find it funny when others complain about how some of the things they did under the influence of something is now out there. Clearly, you had the conviction to talk about it, so just own up to it. It’s a nice thought to be able to be “forgetten”, in the sense of having your Google search results modified. However, are you not then presenting a fake face to the world?

I guess I’m just wary of ways in which we are able to alter our appearance. I’m careful about my actions and expect others to be. And if they do end up making a bad decision, own up to it. I respect people who own up to their mistakes more than those who try to hide behind something.

In a way, this article reminds me of a book that I have been working (not very hard) to finish reading, in which it is argued that in the history of humankind, the standard has always been to forget. It is only with digital memory that we have created a culture that seeks to preserve every memory, every instance of pain and joy, every achievement and poor decision. In this sense, Spain is just asking for what we have always been able to do – to forget about the good and the bad.

Spain Asks Google for the Right To Be Forgotten.

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