Chris Hodgins chodgins at cis.strath.ac.uk
Fri Feb 4 14:54:03 PST 2005

Chuck Swiger wrote:
> Chris Hodgins wrote:
>> Chuck Swiger wrote:
> [ ... ]
>> Google does offer a way to remove posts that you have made from its 
>> index:
>> http://www.google.co.uk/googlegroups/help.html#9
> Notice the part which says:
> "Messages posted by other people
>       By its very nature, Usenet consists of information posted by many 
> people. Google does not monitor or control the content of this 
> information. Instead, we simply provide access to the public forum in 
> which people post their comments.
>     Accordingly, if you are concerned about a message that someone has 
> posted, you need to resolve that problem directly with the person who 
> posted it. Except in extreme circumstances, Google will not act upon an 
> individual's request to remove another person's messages.  We firmly 
> believe it is not Google's role to resolve disputes among the users who 
> have posted millions of messages on Usenet, nor would it be possible to 
> fulfill that role if we chose to undertake it."
>> IANAL but I think it would be interesting to know what the legal 
>> implications are here.  Could it be a legal requirement that you can 
>> request that your data is removed?
> The situation is analogous to writing a letter to a newspaper, having it 
> printed in the op/ed section, and then you asking your local library to 
> discard the entire editoral section for that day.
> Even if the library were to agree, there were thousands of other copies 
> made and the neighboring towns very probably have copies of that day's 
> paper in their library archives, as well, so what's the point?  A 
> newspaper doesn't have any legal obligation to hunt down and remove all 
> of the copies of their paper which contain the letter you wrote.
> Likewise, if you don't want your name to appear in the archive of a 
> public forum, don't send content to a public forum.

I like your analogy,  I think that sums it up nicely.  :)


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