I recently published a post about what I call the “Linn Effect,” which occurs when technological innovation creates more problems than it solves. That post came to mind as I thought about the latest challenge that Google is facing in Europe: giving people the ability to erase all or part of their digital history — forever. Robert Herritt, writing in Pacific Standard, lays out the background to how Google came to this situation:
In 2010, a Spanish lawyer named Mario Costeja González appealed to Spain’s national Data Protection Agency to have an embarrassing auction notice for his repossessed home wiped from a newspaper website and de-indexed from Google’s search results. Because the financial matter had been cleared up years earlier, González argued, the fact that the information continued to accompany searches of his name amounted to a violation of privacy.
The Spanish authorities ruled that the search link should be…
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