Google gives Europeans 'right to be forgotten,' regrets not influencing privacy debate

Google rolls out "right to be forgotten" site in Europe; Zuckerberg to give $120 million to California public schools; Ballmer to buy Clippers; Siemens restructuring to affect thousands of jobs; Redskins Twitter campaign goes awry.

Google gives Europeans ‘right to be forgotten’
Google rolled out a website Friday morning for Europeans who want to erase search results they think are irrelevant or inaccurate in the company’s first steps to comply with a top court ruling earlier this month requiring it to give EU residents the "right to be forgotten." (Here’s a link to the removal-request form). It also called together an advisory board of prominent tech experts, including Wikipedia chief Jimmy Wales, to guide it on the issue.

Google CEO Larry Page told the Financial Times that his company missed an opportunity to influence the public debate on the issue in the region. "I wish we’d been more involved in the real debate," he told the FT. "That’s one of the things we’ve taken from this, that we’re starting the process of really going and talking to people."

Privacy is in the spotlight in Europe after revelations of US government surveillance on citizens there, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, Google says the ruling will only restrict technology companies and allow residents of European countries to flood mostly US-based firms with removal requests.

Zuckerberg to make second nine-figure public-school donation
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife said Friday morning that they will donate $120 million to public schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. This follows his 2010 gift of $100 million to Newark, New Jersey, public schools made around the release of the film The Social Network, which presents an often critical take on the Zuckerberg-driven genesis of Facebook.

Restructuring at Siemens could result in thousands of job cuts
Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser said this week that a restructuring  will affect as many as 11,600 positions around the world, about 3% of the company’s workforce. However, Siemens pushed back on that number early Friday morning, saying not all of the positions would necessarily be eliminated.

Ballmer wins bidding shootout for Clippers
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for about $2 billion, the biggest deal in NBA history. Statements from both Ballmer and Clippers part-owner Shelly Sterling did not mention disgraced owner Donald Sterling, who ESPN reported had been ruled "mentally incapacitated" by experts and therefore having no control over the team.

Redskins’ anti-Reid Twitter push goes off the rails
Add the Washington Redskins to the list of organizations that have seen a planned Twitter campaign go horribly awry. The NFL team, embroiled in a debate about whether it should change its name, encouraged fans to tweet at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) with examples of #RedskinsPride. Predictably, the Twitterverse had a lot of fun at the team’s expense.

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