Father of the internet, turned Google spinner, Vint Cerf has laid into European internet policy saying its plans to regulate the net were impractical to enforce and ‘terrifying’ in prospect.
Cerf said that the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ online was impossible and he ranted to the Telegraph that it was not possible to remove content from everybody’s computer just because you want the world to forget about something.
European regulators have yet to clarify precisely what their “right to be forgotten” would mean, but European Commissioner Viviane Reding wants to give web users new controls over information, such as posts or pictures on social networks, that appears about them online.
But it would cause some major headaches at Google, where Cerf works, because it would be forced to make sure that images or posts that an individual objects to are no longer accessible.
Cerf is not the only one. Britain’s Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith said he had not got a clue what the new rights were saying the right to be forgotten contained “an element of political gesturing”.
Cerf warned “It’s very, very hard to get the internet to forget things that you don’t want it to remember because it’s easy to download and copy and re-upload files again later.”