Rewind to Tuesday. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) determined people have the power to request that Google removes search results containing their private or sensitive information.
“The search engine is legally obliged to comply, unless there are particular reasons not to, such as the result and its data is in the public interest,” the UK’s Daily Mail reported.
The ruling affects all search engines, according to the Associated Press. But the spotlight’s on Google, the world’s No. 1 search engine. How it deals with the ruling – which a company spokesman called “disappointing” – should draw particular attention. According to the AP, the court didn’t make clear how Google should handle removal requests.
On Facebook, European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said, “Today’s Court Judgment is a clear victory for the protection of personal data of Europeans!”
But is it? Or does the decision muddy the waters? What constitutes personal data that the public has a right to access?
And has the EU arrived at the slippery slope of censorship?
Here are four more stories found on the beat:
In a much-anticipated meeting Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted, 3-2, to move forward with Chairman Tom Wheeler’s controversial proposal to prioritize lanes of Internet traffic. The ruling isn’t final, but it’s a significant step. The FCC will now accept public comments for 120 days, review feedback, and draft its final rules for vote.
Net neutrality supporters argue the two-lane system favors websites capable of paying for faster access to consumers.
“If someone acts to divide the Internet between haves and have-nots, we will use every power to stop it. I strongly support an open Internet,” said Wheeler, whose vote split the deadlock.
Still going strong
“According to a report out (Wednesday) from network traffic specialist Sandvine, Snapchat is now the top third-party messaging app in North America by volume, ‘generating more traffic each day than competing services such as WhatsApp.’”
In other Google news
One month after selling Google Glass for one day, Google announced its decision to keep the buying window permanently open in the US.
The company’s post on Google+ reads:
“We learned a lot when we opened our site a few weeks ago, so we’ve decided to move to a more open beta. We’re still in the Explorer Program while we continue to improve our hardware and software, but starting today anyone in the US can buy the Glass Explorer Edition, as long as we have it on hand.”
Of course, the price hasn’t dropped. Sense the sarcasm in Eric Mack’s story for CNET:
“Don’t all rush to put your $1,500 on the table at once, now.”
In the year 2025
What will the Internet of Things encompass in 2025? The Pew Research Center posed this question and reported the predictions as part of its year-long series celebrating 25 years of the World Wide Web:
“Survey respondents expect the Internet of Things to be evident in many places, including:
- Bodies: Many people will wear devices…
- Homes: People will be able to control nearly everything remotely…
- Communities: ‘Smart systems’ might deliver electricity and water more efficiently and warn about infrastructure problems…
- Goods and services: Factories and supply chains will have sensors and readers that more precisely track materials…
- Environment: There will be real-time readings from fields, forests, oceans, and cities…”
Perhaps asking people where they expect an Internet absence in 11 years makes more sense.