Big thanks to technology lawyer Julia Powles, who shares her expertise and connects us to the right people. She collects case studies and academic commentary around the Rigth to be Forgotten via Cambridge Code.
This is what happens when computer-scientists mull over a humanistic question. "Does the right to be forgotten ruling amount to an inhibition of press freedom, or does it have merit as a protection of individuals’ right to privacy?" (Journalism & Society, 2014) - The answer to that, I concluded, is a cultural one, rather than a matter of facts.
What can be discussed as a matter of facts is its implementation. Google didn't seem to bother being terribly innovative about it and the European Council Tour mostly offered advise from a philosophical and legal angle. That's good but we figured an actual technical approach was missing. Over a couple of weeks we drew up a detailed, data-driven proposal for an implementation of the Right to be Forgotten on Google's side. It was intended to provide the company with a possible solution for this logistic challenge, and address its legal and image problems in Europe. Importantly, we proposed to make the decision process more democratic and transparent. Consulting with people in AI, app development, and marketing, gave us confidence that it is feasible to improve the status quo.
Despite all efforts (and a few contacts) it was impossible to reach the right person to address the proposal to. Nobody said pitching to Google was going to be easy. Digging deeper into all available sources, we discovered some data that was missing from the debate entirely and possibly why it was so difficult to pitch. By making this data publicly available in a visual way, we hope to reanimate an informed discussion and provide a common ground for speakers of all European languages to contribute and share data (and related insights) from their country.
If you want to contribute, please fork this page and add your language version!
Eventually, we hope to bring our technical proposal forward, but let's have a discussion about the data first!