EU & Individual’s “right to be forgotten”
Who knew? For every person trying to grab their five minutes of fame, there’s apparently another who would rather their past be erased from public scrutiny forever! Whether it’s a criminal record, a misplaced comment or even unfounded rumours and allegations made against them, it seems that there are more people with something to hide than we thought; enough, anyway, to persuade the EU to force Google to give the general public the chance to have their online search references to them deleted as part of each individual’s “right to be forgotten”.
What’s the implication for CEOs or senior executives?
Here’s a golden opportunity for those leaders that would like to clear up their past. Too good to be true? Well, this ruling only applies to Google searches in Europe.
But what’s really interesting in this story is the role of Larry Page, one of the founders of Google, and the extent to which he has got involved in the debate over digital privacy. He seems to keep a fairly low profile most of the time but is now spoken up. His argument against the EU ruling is that governments that aren’t as forward and progressive as Europe will be able to do “bad things” such as censorship.
Larry Page’s concern on democracy
How do we know Larry Page’s concern on democracy is genuine or just a convenient cover? Google’s business model depends largely on this view – the more information Google can share, the more it can sell. With these vested interests, what Larry Page says on the subject should be viewed with caution.
Google “larry page freedom of information” or “larry page democracy” and tell us your impression of his defence on freedom of information and democracy from his online presence.
Yet what is even more noteworthy is how much Larry Page will be engaged in the future debate of digital privacy and democracy. He, just like any governments, should be held accountable and prevented from taking the use of data one step too far – and his peers, senior executive business leaders, need to apply pressure to ensure that happens.
Your Visible Duty as CEO
This reminds us again, one of senior executives’ important tasks besides the bottom line is to use their online presence to shape company culture, to raise the bar of their industry and to impact crucial social direction.
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