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Monday, 30 November 2015

The 'right to be forgotten' is a 'false expectation'

From: Reporter's Notebook

Internet users should have the right to delete their data at any time, according to EU commissioner Viviane Reding – but we should not give people “false expectations”, warned UK culture minister Ed Vaizey in a speech earlier this month.

Addressing the Internet Advertising Bureau, Vaizey said: “In principle, we support the idea that consumers should have more control over the processing of their data. And of course we support greater transparency. 

“But we also need to be clear about the practicalities of any regulation. For example, how do we enforce the ‘right to be forgotten’ when data can be copied and transferred across the globe in an instant? No government can guarantee that photos shared with the world will be deleted by everyone when someone decides it’s time to forget that drunken night-out. We should not give people false expectations.”

He also questioned the logic “of trying to make firms outside the EU subject to EU law” – another idea put forward by Reding in her statement last week.

You can read Vaizey’s speech in full here.

(Hat-tip to

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Mandatory What are the third and fifth letters of the word: FURNITURE