A L L O W
M E
TO
FORGET

~
A̘͉͖͍l̲̩̟̟̬͔̀͜ͅļ̹͕͎̰͕̖̦͕̕ͅo͓̠̲͚̪͝ẉ̨͎̫̮͈̹͍ ͙̤͈̯͘͢m̶̯͚̤͍̻̲e̺̮̭͝ ̴̬͕̭̳̤̥̩t̴҉̜̙͎͔̲̗̥o̞̝̝̜̪̘̩͝ ̣̀͡ͅf̷̞͖̙̫̰͔̰̥͈͝o͘͏̪̺̩r̵͖̩̩̮͍̦͓̱g͕̯̪͇̙̭͔̝̕͘e҉̝̯͡t̵̝̞̭̺̳͎̖͞ ҉̼͔̺͈̭
̞̪̜͓̥̰̻̀͘


A Questionnaire based on the Right to be Forgotten

Slide
Allow Me To Forget installation view, Quita del Sordo, photo: Michaela Lakova, Intercambiador Residency, Madrid 2016

The Internet is not a neutral and democratic space as it presents itself. Personal data is the oil of the 21st century as one of the main actors involved in this story reveals. Once something gets published online then it can be cached, archived, reposted and replicated in a thousand different places across the Internet. Then this symbolic act of gaining back agency over one’s personal data becomes dubious task.

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Аllow Me Тo Forget is an ongoing research and project development based on the Right to be Forgotten (RTBF). In May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that individuals can request search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to remove content which is linked to one’s name if the information is outdated, inadequate, irrelevant or devoid of purpose and there is no public interest.
This website depicts larger questions about our digital rights and the online ethics of tech companies as a symbolic attempt to gain agency. The questions presented below are a constant subject of change. They are based on the polarized opinions and reflections which I encountered during my research. One of the major contradictions among experts, scholars and lawmakers following the ongoing online privacy debate is that with the new regulations imposed by the EU such as the RTBF, we are basically asking tech companies to resolve legal cases despite the fact that they are not a public body, law-makers or the state and nor do they necessarily have accountability or a set legal framework.
Questions remain whether a private company can be given the authority to act as both judge and jury and how transparent the decision-making process is to the public.


F o r m:

o. Fill your name or remain anonymous.


First name (*optional)

Last name (*optional)

Q u e s t i o n s:

i. Fill the questions with YES / NO or X cannot give an answer.

The Right to be Forgotten is not absolute but needs to be balanced against other fundamental rights, such as the freedom of expression and the right of the media.
- Marc Rotenberg, President and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
1. Are you familiar with your digital rights ?

Yes     No     X    


Freedom of expression carries with its responsibilities and has limits both in the online and offline world.
2. Are you familiar with your right to remove content online from the search engine also known as The Right to be Forgotten (RTBF)?
Yes     No     X    


Fact: • Since May 29, 2014 the “Right to be Forgotten” (RTBF) ruling, Google had received more than 1.5 million link-removal requests from individuals (“requesters”) in the European Union. It is important to note that the RTBF ruling does not effect the original published content; it means that the content is not removed from the original source instead the search engine delists it from its index system. The ruiling only concerns the search-engine results (URLs) for specific queries.
3. Should we regulate what is remembered and forgotten online?
Yes     No     X    


We don’t create the information. We make it accessible.
- Kent Walker, The General Counsel of Google
4. Do algorithms have ethics?
Yes     No     X    


Fact:• A numbers of arguments are provided for and against the implementation of the legislation including a major concern about freedom of expression and media.
Fact: • In order to exercise the Right to be Forgotten, one must complete an online form through the search engine website. This process requires the applicant to identify his/hers country of residence, personal information, a list of URLs to be removed along with a short description of each one and an attachment of legal identification. After the request is filled the removal team reviews the request following the guidelines provided by an Advisory Council. However there are no details about Content Moderators who is reviewing these forms. The review process is still a mystery to the general public.



Fact: Once something has been published online then it can be cached, archived, reposted and replicated in a thousand different places across the Internet.
5. Is then the request to remove a content online /or delist it from the index of search engine realistic?
Yes     No     X    


6. Should the search engine be given the authority to be a jury and a judge at the same time ?

Yes     No     X    


Due to the fact that Google assigned a jury to decide upon each individual removal request without revealing their actual policy behind.
7. Do search engines (tech companies) have ethics?

Yes     No     X    


Fact: “Streisand effect” is a phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.
8. Does the implication of The Right to be Forgotten creates Streisand effect?
Yes     No     X    


Fact: • On its first day of compliance only (May 30, 2014), Google received 12,000 requests to have personal details removed from its search engine and those have exceeded more than 280,000 at present. Since the law has been applied Google has removed 1,390,838 URLs from their search engine. Regardless, a recent report shows that more than 65% of individual takedown requests or a large majority of the requests made by citizens concerned with protecting their personal privacy were denied.
9. Is the public voice heard in the current debate about The Right to be Forgotten?
Yes     No     X    

Slide
A manuscript of erasure, video installation, photo: Michaela Lakova, Abu Dhabi, 2017

K e y w o r d s:

ii. Choose a keyword from the pairs.


//////////////// remembering vs forgetting \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
remembering forgetting


//////////////// individual vs collective \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
individual collective


//////////////// conclusion vs reason \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
conclusion reason


//////////////// meaning vs interpretation \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
meaning interprentation


//////////////// secrecy vs transparency \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
secrecy transparency


//////////////// question vs answer \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
question answer


//////////////// responsibility vs immunity \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
responsibility immunity


//////////////// entry vs exit \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
entry exit


//////////////// list vs delist \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
list delist


//////////////// posting vs publishing \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
posting publishing


//////////////// collective memory vs historical memory \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
collective memory historical memory


//////////////// erasing history vs anti-censorship \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
erasing history anti-censorship


//////////////// norm vs exception \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
norm exception


//////////////// certainty vs uncertainty \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
certainty uncertainty


//////////////// true vs false \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
true false


//////////////// oblivion vs awareness \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
oblivion awareness


//////////////// ignorance vs knowledge \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
ignorance knowledge




Slide
Untitled, photo: Michaela Lakova, Rotterdam, 2017

O p i n i o n s:

iii. Read different opinions on online privacy, ethics and RTBF.




Freedom of expression carries with its responsibilities and has limits both in the online and offline world.



The one who controls the 'data' controls the 'time'.
- Hiroshi Miyashita, Chuo University



The notion that Google as a passive intermediary in modern information economy is dubious?
- Marc Rotenberg, President and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)



We don’t create the information. We make it accessible.
- Kent Walker, The General Counsel of Google



But digital memories will only remind us of the failures of our past, so that we have no ability to forget or reconstruct our past. Knowledge is based on forgetting.
- Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Oxford Internet Institute



The current history books are full of forgetting.
- Emilio Silva, The Spanish Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory



In historical - memory context “Any right to be forgotten has to be compatible with the right to know the truth."
- Emilio Silva, The Spanish Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory



But that's the cost of doing business if your business involves disseminating information.
- Marc Rotenberg, President and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)



Technically is impossible to implement the Right to be Forgotten, because of the many back-ups of back-ups of back-ups that take place.
- A lobbyist against the Right to be Forgotten







A story to forget:

iiii. Please enter your feedback or a story you would like to forget.(*optional)