by Robert D
Hot on the heels of America’s SOPA bill, some legislation from the European Union is polarizing web developers and law makers. Most controversial of this new legislation is the “right to be forgotten” rule. This rule states that, under certain conditions, it’s mandatory for companies and data mining industries to delete all information on customers not relevant to business practices.
So, it comes down to privacy versus function. Data miners will often collect as much information as possible from customers and target demographics. This information can then be put to use later. On the one hand, it’s a common and efficient business practice. On the other hand, it’s very likely that you, the reader, have private information stored in several data banks.
So is this appropriate? Where do we draw the line? It’s hard to say. Despite the internet’s inherent anonymity, it has proven time and again to penetrate any sense of privacy. Right now, someone could be selling your name, your phone number, your email address, and what kind of products you like to a company. You’ve probably recently posted sensitive information on yourself on Facebook or twitter. Should companies have a right to access this data, even if it’s not relevant to them? It’s easy for the average person to be adamantly against this bill, but it’ll give the rest of us pause; having fewer resources to bring your product or service to the web means worse service and higher costs to the developer. So? Is it worth it to you?
Gross, Grant. “Critics: EU’s Proposed Data Protection Rules Could Hinder the Internet” PC World. 25 Jan 2012. http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/248732/critics_eus_proposed_data_protection_rules_could_hinder_internet.html