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EU Approves Strict New Privacy Rules 132

An anonymous reader writes: The EU just approved a new set of strict rules governing privacy and data protection, which include a right to be forgotten and to "clear and affirmative consent" for any processing of private data, as well as the right to know when data has been compromised. Culminating more than four years of work, "The reform will replace the current data protection directive, dating back to 1995 when the internet was still in its infancy," the EU said in a statement, "with a general regulation designed to give citizens more control over their own private information in a digitized world of smartphones, social media, internet banking and global transfers." If the rules are broken, the new EU privacy policy includes hefty fines of up to 4% of a firm's total worldwide annual turnover.
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EU Approves Strict New Privacy Rules

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  • stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17, 2016 @08:34AM (#51926137)

    The right to be forgotten is such BS.
    I say this as a European.
    Why does some murderer have the right to be forgotten?
    Do we have to delete all records of their crime from the internet?
    Completely retarded.
    Things like this make me wish freenet wasn't just some hub for perverts to share CP, but was actually used by normal people to circumvent this shit.

    • They don't... (Score:5, Informative)

      by denzacar ( 181829 ) on Sunday April 17, 2016 @09:42AM (#51926403) Journal []

      The new rules will give individuals greater control over their personal data in the following ways.
      The right to be forgotten (Article 17)

      Any person will have the right to be âoeforgottenâ/have his or her personal data erased when he or shel no longer wants the data to be processed, provided there are no legitimate reasons for retaining it.

      To enforce this right, if a person asks an internet company to erase his/her data, the company should also forward the request to any others that replicate the data.
      However, this right would be restricted in some cases, for instance when the data is needed for historical, statistical and scientific purposes, for public health reasons or to exercise the right to freedom of expression.
      Also, the right to be forgotten would not apply when the retention of personal data is necessary to fulfil a contract or is required by law.

      Purpose of this is to ensure that Facebook, Google and various government and other agencies can't use or sell your private data if you don't want them to.
      Not for convicted murderers to be able to erase their past from the internet.
      Freedom of speech still applies and still includes news articles about murder.
      Just as the laws pertaining to government archives about the case still apply.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        The theory is nice. But what kind of effort will companies make to fact check, hear the other side of the story and make an impartial judgement? It's one thing if you want the BBC to take down an article they wrote because it's supposed to be a fact-checked objectively written and newsworthy story in the first place. However if Google gets a complaint about a YouTube video the default is always going to lean heavily towards removing it and hoping the case goes away, because every complaint, review, appeal a

        • It's one thing if you want the BBC to take down an article they wrote because it's supposed to be a fact-checked objectively written and newsworthy story in the first place.

          Want don't get.

          Read again.

          However, this right would be restricted in some cases, for instance when the data is needed for historical, statistical and scientific purposes, for public health reasons or to exercise the right to freedom of expression.

          The rest of your concerns all fall under that paragraph as well.
          The vision of gloom and doom that exists in your mind is not an accurate portrayal of reality.

          This is not some reverse-DMCA thing where billions of individuals would storm your offices on a hunch that you have their data on your servers.
          This is assurance for individuals that Company X and Government Y can't do whatever it pleases for as long as it pleases with data said individuals are now unwittingly leaving every

    • Re:stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Sunday April 17, 2016 @10:42AM (#51926601) Homepage Journal

      Why does some murderer have the right to be forgotten?

      Murder cases make it on the internet because the press is reporting about it -- usually because someone has been accused.
      If you had been accused of a outrageous crime and later found innocent, you will have your name associated with those news stories forever. Every time an employer googles you, they will get that impression, and you will spend the rest of your life arguing that charges were dismissed.
      For those people I think a right to be forgotten is appropriate.

      • by LihTox ( 754597 )

        OK, so OJ Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his wife. If he asked for the record to be expunged, does that mean I can't blog about it? Tell jokes about white Broncos online? Does this Slashdot post become illegal?

        Can Adnan Sayed wipe out the first season of Serial if his case is reviewed and he's found innocent?

        And the statute says that the data can be retained "for historical, statistical and scientific purposes, for public health reasons or to exercise the right to freedom of expression." But

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Yup. That is the idea. Although, most people assume OJ did kill his wife now, he actually was found not guilty in a court of law by a jury of his peers. But, he spent the rest of his life being persecuted for it, which eventually led to him committing additional crimes. The publicity of it ruined his life. Maybe he deserved that in this particular case, but most people do not. The public has no right to "mob rule" ruin someone's life over something they've been acquitted of. This new law exists to try to hu

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          OK, so OJ Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his wife. If he asked for the record to be expunged, does that mean I can't blog about it? Tell jokes about white Broncos online? Does this Slashdot post become illegal?

          No, I don't know what that means, and no.

          Simpson is a celebrity and the case was widely publicised, so a court wouldn't allow his request. It wouldn't make much sense.

          For the sake of argument, let's say some random person was accused of murder and found innocent. Not a celebrity, not standing for election etc, just some ordinary person. They request the right to be forgotten by Google. You can blog about it as much as you like, it's just that Google isn't allowed to provide a link to your blog if someone ty

    • The right to be forgotten is such BS. I say this as a European. Why does some murderer have the right to be forgotten?

      And in that one sentence you've demonstrated you don't have a fucking clue what you're talking about. Its not designed to enable that. Its designed to enable you to remove things like posts of stupid shit you did when you were a kid.

    • And posting as AC is your way to not have your name forever associated with your stupid comment?
  • Will these rules stop IoT devices from watching me while I urinate and defecate?

    Because it's clear now that that's what's going to matter in 5 or 10 years. If the rules don't prevent such things now, then these rules will be outdated really quickly.

  • by Cytotoxic ( 245301 ) on Sunday April 17, 2016 @08:44AM (#51926173)

    This notion that you have a right to be forgotten is beyond parody. The idea that I have to scrub my notes of all mention of your foibles defies logic. If you were convicted of arson in 2015, what on earth makes anyone think that other people are obligated to hide that fact? And how exactly does the passage of time magically imbue facts with liability? In 2020 it will still be relevant and OK to have in the newspaper, but in 2030 it is magically verboten?

    I realize that this is motivated by politicians who don't want accounts of their youthful indiscretions publicly available, but the fact that there seems to be broad support for this law is kinda scary. Freedom of speech is a pretty basic and important right. Any law requiring censorship should be well beyond the boundary of public discourse, let alone actually being implemented as law.

    I recognize that Europe has a different history with speech and censorship and citizens rights, but c'mon folks, can't we stand up for the right to speak the truth in public?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It is scary if you believe the right to free speech trumps all else. The question is whether that right is morally sustainable in a world where it can have everlasting repercussions on individuals in a way they can't control. Until recently we weren't really living in that world and these situations didn't exist except in a few contrived cases.

      • Only what you do has repercussions, not what you say. The freedom to verbally offend is sacrosanct.

        Sticks and stones, baby!

    • You're leaving out some of the considerations that are at play here. That is that you have a right to learn from your mistakes, move on. Also, they're not prohibiting publishing those facts, the intention is merely to make it less easily findable. The USA has a similar mechanism, namely sealed court records, etc.
      • Your basic point is valid. I'm against a right to be forgotten but you are correct that this sort of thing can help people move on from their mistakes and that is a legitimate argument in favor of it. However, comparing it to sealed court records is completely off. Sealed court records are legal documents in the government's hands which are not being released. That's very different than saying that private citizens cannot report on public information that was literally in newspapers a few years ago. The com
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17, 2016 @09:16AM (#51926305)

      Let's hope you're not falsely accused of anything then. Rape, child molestation, murder, sexism, racism, the list goes on.

      If any of these charges makes a headline, even it it's reported in a blog, it'll be one of the top results in google. Do you really think a potential employer is going to do some serious digging to find the actual truth once they see "abc drugged and raped xyz"? No way they'll move to the next just-as-qualified person.
      Likewise if you're falsely accused of something to do with children, you move into a new neighborhood and one of the mothers googles your name and "xyz touched my child" comes'll be fucking lynched. No ifs, buts or maybes.

      Even if you DID commit a crime, PRISON is the punishment. Once you leave prison you have served your sentence and atoned for your sins.
      Having that conviction follow you throughout your entire life simply by someone googling your name could ruin chances of employment, housing, friends, significant others and maybe lead to a further life of crime.

      If public details of somebodies life are no longer relevant, eg time served, accusation repealed etc, then they shouldn't show up for the world to see, especially without context as i highly doubt many newspaper or blog articles are updated once the accused was found not guilty.

      • Do you really think a potential employer is going to do some serious digging to find the actual truth once they see "abc drugged and raped xyz"? No way they'll move to the next just-as-qualified person.

        And that is what precisely makes him the problem. He is too lazy to dig? Screw him, and sue him every way till Sunday

        Censorship is always evil. The leader isn't the problem, the followers are.

        • You can't sue every company that doesn't hire you because you suspect they might possible not have done sufficiently accurate fact-checking.

          When a company sees an applicant like that they go to the bottom of the stack. If someone else is hired the company doesn't tell the alleged rapist "sorry, we didn't hire you because Google says you're a rapist", they simply tell them that someone else got the job. But that someone else could've gotten the job because of superior hard or soft skills or because they si
          • Sorry, you can only prosecute for action, never speech. The actor is the sole guilty party, no matter what he claims as motivation, whether it's tabloid hearsay or anything else. Censorship still remains the prime evil. Its only purpose is expediency and for the protection of powerful people and institutions. We need to kill off the whole discussion by making censorship impossible with decentralized, P2P type services []. That would be the end of the problem and we can move on.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <(mojo) (at) (> on Sunday April 17, 2016 @02:12PM (#51927481) Homepage

        It's worth adding that in the EU less serious crimes are considered "spent" after some time (or age 18 if committed as a child). After that point they don't have to be reported to potential employers. They can still show up on enhanced checks for sensitive jobs (state secrets, working with children etc.)

      • None of the "Right to be forgotten" movement is about false accusations. It is about true statements that are reported somewhere on the web, and about blocking search engines from being able to report the results.

        It is odd that we live in a time where people are perfectly happy to prohibit a private citizen from accurately reporting the location of a news article while simultaneously ratcheting up government lists of shame like sex offender registries and "john lists". It is truly a bizarre juxtaposition

        • by dave420 ( 699308 )

          Your first statement is demonstrably false, so why should anyone continue reading? You clearly don't understand this, yet somehow believe you do. Puzzling.

          • The very first case brought under "right to be forgotten" was about a forced sale of a house - i.e. a foreclosure auction announcement. Since the guy had never done anything else of note, it was the first thing that popped up on Google. He argued that it was no longer relevant and shouldn't be available on the internet. This is what "right to be forgotten" means.

            False accusations fall under the category of libel and are handled completely differently. As far as I know there is no "this ain't true" categ

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <(mojo) (at) (> on Sunday April 17, 2016 @09:17AM (#51926309) Homepage

      I'm amazed people still don't understand what this right is, considering how often it's been explained right here on Slashdot.

      The right applies to companies that hold your data, and only when there is no overriding reason for them to keep it. So you can't ask your bank to forget your debt, or a newspaper to delete old editions that mention you.

      You can ask Facebook to completely delete your profile instead of just marking it as dormant. It means you can expect credit agencies to not report your bankruptcy from 20 years ago because society says you did your time even if they think otherwise. And yes, it means companies that let others research you have a similar obligation.

      Freedom of speech is unaffected, only commercial services. Corporations are not people and don't have the same rights in the EU, and privacy is considered a human right.

      • Google doesn't hold your data. Well, they do, but not in a way that is relevant to this topic. They are being told that they cannot return results for "AmiMoJo" about the big lawsuit settlement against British Petroleum if you've applied to have it forgotten, even if the article is still online at the NY Times or the London Times. That just makes no sense to me at all.

        There's nothing "private" about public records. Nor is there anything "privacy" related about saying "hey, they published an article abo

        • by dave420 ( 699308 )

          Are you proud of being so misinformed? Is this some sort of badge of honour? It's truly awe-inspiring watching you tilt against the windmills of your own creation, fighting a righteous battle in your own head, with the only casualty being your own reputation.

    • by guises ( 2423402 )

      This notion that you have a right to be forgotten is beyond parody.

      The notion is certainly not a parody, the point of the law is that imperfect data storage and retrieval, i.e.: the old way of doing things, is preferable when it comes to issues of a personal nature. It's implementation that's difficult, though I don't think it's nearly as much of an insurmountable challenge as some people here suggest.

      Just one approach: news organizations attach an expiration date to each article and they get archived when the date expires. Search engines read that date and remove searc

    • by dave420 ( 699308 )

      You should read what these rules cover instead of arguing against your own impression of what they cover. You might learn something, and not make a fool of yourself in the process.

      • There are lots of things covered in the new regs. But the argument is over the "right to be forgotten" and particularly it's application to search engines.

        From the EU themselves:

        The respective legal grounds of original publishers and search engines are different. The
        search engine should carry out the assessment of the different elements (public interest, public
        relevance, nature of the data, actual relevance)
        on the basis of its own legal ground, which
        derives from its own economic interest and that of the u

  • by lseltzer ( 311306 ) on Sunday April 17, 2016 @08:44AM (#51926175)
    I've read a lot of this regulation and I think it's probably impossible to comply with. It's also very light on technical guidance for compliance. There are only a few passing mentions of encryption and nothing at all about particular standards. In other words, there is no specific requirement to encrypt data in transit or at rest, but rather a vague suggestion that encryption in general might be a good idea. On the other hand, with respect the right to be forgotten, which is really a right to request erasure, it's unclear whether deleting keys to encrypted data constitutes erasure. It could be read to require actually writing over all the copies of the bits.
    • If this law is to be in place for the next 20+ years it'd be pretty moronic if it laid out a very detailed set of technical measures a party is expected to take. Luckily there's lawyers who can interpet the law, and apply it to the situation they're assessing, all of its context included. If other lawyers (i.e. prosecution) disagree with their views, we have judges who can elaborate on the law, and tell how it should be interpreted in situations like those.
      • Laws tend to get more complex over time, not less. I get the clear idea from the text that the authors would like to be able to hit up companies for fines at will, and this law will allow them to do it.
        • They won't. In the EU (not sure about other regions/countries), a judge (if a fine is contested) is to hold a pretty high bar when it comes to fines or penalties. There must be no doubt that the party is in breach before the fine can be validated.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The existing rules say that companies must protect personal data, and it's up to regulators and courts to decide exactly what that means. That's a good solution because as technology changes and the minimum protection you would expect changes companies are expected to keep up.

      For example, DES used to be fine, but now you would expect AES. Before two factor authentication was popular and free it wasn't really expected, now it's pretty much essential for any serious application.

  • by isj ( 453011 ) on Sunday April 17, 2016 @09:26AM (#51926343) Homepage

    I checked a subset of the leaked list from BBC last year of articles they had to remove. From those samples I could see three categories:

    1: victims. Eg sexual assault victims mentioned by name. It seems OK to me that they get their name removed so that in 20 years their granchildren don't get that search result.
    2: a small category of criminals wanting to have their names removed. Which mostly seems OK to me as most countries have a limit to how long such information is publicly available. Eg. I think where I live burglaries are removed after 8 years
    3: a wtf category. Two examples: One neo-nazi wanted his name removed from an article about a white power demonstration.. His names is pretty unique so I checked - he is still sputing such nonsense on facebook and twitter, so I don't see why he wanted it removed. The other example is a man in an article about how his one testicle suddenly grew and he immediately went to the doctor. It turned out it wasn't testicular cancer but a benign internal boil. I think it is a positive story about cancer awareness, but I can see why he may not want that to be the first result when someone searches his name.

    So basically I agree with the right to be forgotten. When information is no longer in the public interest it should be possible to get the names removed.

    • Are you sure you checked a statistically significant subset? The problem with your idea is that a quick web search would have turned up articles to the contrary []. The "right to be forgotten" can and will be used improperly, to deny the people their right to information that they need to make intelligent decisions.

      An even more serious problem with the right to be forgotten is that it is impeding humanity's development. We need to see other humans' foibles on display, so that we can learn that we are more the

      • Your telegraph article mentions people claiming the right be forgotten. No evidence that they were granted it.

        • Your telegraph article mentions people claiming the right be forgotten. No evidence that they were granted it.

          It doesn't matter; at least a subset of bad claims will be granted, if history is any indicator. I am not going to ignore history, so you can forget that argument right now.

          • "All presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously; for the law holds it better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent party suffer." - William Blackstone

            People like Benjamin Franklin and John Adams put their own spin on this but Blackstone said it first: Justice works better when we err on the side of caution. "This might possibly be misused so we must forbid it" is a terrible policy. In fact, this exact stance applied to encryption is what we like to ridicule the NSA for.
  • I want the right to forget.

    So when I see a politician, country, company or individual I don't like I can request that their presence be erased from the internet.

    It makes as much sense as the right to be forgotten.

  • by ffkom ( 3519199 ) on Sunday April 17, 2016 @01:05PM (#51927209)
    such data privacy laws - see John Oliver's recent episode on Credit Reports in the US []. That's what happenes if 1 in 20 humans is associated with wrong, outdated information by corporations.
  • by Computershack ( 1143409 ) on Sunday April 17, 2016 @01:38PM (#51927353)
    I can't believe how many people, mostly Americans, think its bad that there is a law out there forcing companies to tell you what they intend to do with your personal data and if they have a breach where that data is compromised. They also seem to have a poor grasp of the right to be forgotten rule as well. Its not intended to hide stuff that politicians or corporations have done in the past but is instead there to protect private individuals from having irrelevant shit they did when they were young and stupid which no longer needs to see the light of day from being able to be found and used against them. Its there to protect those who were falsely accused from having to undergo further misery in their lives. And fuck you if you're too stupid to see that.
    • Because the US is geared towards Old Testament retribution, something that goes far beyond the idea of "justice". When someone does anything "bad", the bulk of citizens think that it should be eternally hung around the convicted like the allegorical albatross. Unless, of course, it's a "financial" crime then most people here are just fine with that, if not downright supportive because here in the US wealth=righteousness. Our justice system is driven by over-zealous District Attorneys, and the foundation i
    • The only thing unbelievable is you got 5 points for your comment. "And fuck you if you're too stupid to see that." So trolling gets 5 points.

      Perhaps trolls shouldn't be mods. That way a mod could be relied upon to score a comment with the appropriate score and those that choose to filter comments would have a reliable way of doing so.

  • "Due to UK and Ireland's special status regarding justice and home affairs legislation, the directive's provisions will only apply in these countries to a limited extent."

    If the UK is even in the EU by the of course...

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