Episode 8: Anne Bezancon on The Right to Be Forgotten

April 21, 2013 // News, Podcast

In this episode, Anne Bezancon of Placecast talks with New Robot Overlords host Myk Willis about The Right to Be Forgotten, and related topics concerning privacy in the digital age.

A full transcript for this episode is available. The episode is also available via iTunes, Stitcher, and various other podcast directories.

When two convicted killers got out of jail in Germany after having served their sentence, they did something that seems outlandish by American standards: they sued the Wikipedia Foundation to have their names removed from pages referring to the victim. While at first blush (at least to this American) this seems like a ridiculous demand, the principal behind it actually enjoys a fair amount of support, notably in Europe, where a proposed Right to Be Forgotten may soon become law. Anne Bezancon wrote an Op-Ed in Forbes that refers to this case, and this article first introduced me to this idea of The Right to Be Forgotten.

In a social media landscape that seems to be completely dominated by a “share everything” ethos, the idea that an individual could demand to have information about themselves effectively removed from the public internet seems impossibly naive. We’ve all had the experience of realizing that, on the web, you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. And while we talked just a few weeks ago about this idea that society may be reaching the End of Forgetting, this Right to Be Forgotten seems to be gaining support by many.

Anne’s vantage point as a French citizen who has lived in the US for some twenty years, and who is the President of a digital location-based marketing company, makes this conversation a really interesting one that deals with aspects of digital privacy that are at once more fundamental and more nuanced than much of the current conversation in mainstream media. I hope you enjoy it, and leave your comments here or via Twitter to let us know what you think.

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