The 'right to be forgotten' - an update

Thursday, November 26, 2015

This update was presented to a meeting of the NUJ's Ethics Council on 6 November, 2015. It covers Google's Advisory Council, Requests for Removal,The Scope of Judgements,and the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation.

Google's Advisory Council
Shortly after the initial May 2014 ruling of the EJC on the application of the right to be forgotten to a case involving a request to Google's Spanish office from the Spanish data protection registrar, Google decided it was going to elect itself judge and jury in determining whether or not the ECJ's ruling should apply, and would cut out the middleman in the form of national data protection authorities. The company invited people to apply directly to have links delisted from its search results and appointed an 'Advisory Council' to hold meetings with other 'experts' in seven European cities in order to advise Google on "the principles [the company] ought to apply when making decisions on individual cases" (

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Guardian US unanimous for unionisation

Friday, July 31, 2015

HUFFPOST MEDIA, New York. 29 July 2015.The staff of the Guardian US voted unanimously Wednesday to unionize under the News Media Guild, an action that comes amid a spate of labor organizing in newsrooms.

"The Guardian has a long tradition of supporting union effort," a spokeswoman for the Guardian US chapter of the News Media Guild said in an email to The Huffington Post.

"The move by Guardian US editorial staff to seek collective representation is consistent with the strong history of working in strong partnership with unions in the UK and Australia," she continued. "The vote was unanimous and we look forward to working constructively with Guardian management moving forward."

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US tv and radio group gets podcasting

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Barack Obama and Marc Maron podcasting LA 19 June 2015 Official White House Pic By Pete Souza

Barack Obama and Marc Maron podcasting in LA, 19 June 2015. Official White House photograph by Pete Souza

FT. New York, 22 July 2015. EW Scripps is buying Midroll Media, a Los Angeles-based podcast and advertising company, as the US television and radio group looks to capitalise on the rising popularity of on-demand audio.

The companies did not disclose the price Scripps paid for Midroll, which is privately owned and has not taken outside investment.

Midroll produces podcasts and sells advertising space for about 200 shows, both its own and those from other producers, including the comedian Marc Maron, who recently interviewed President Barack Obama in his garage studio. It counts HBO, Netflix and Amazon’s Audible audiobook service among its 240 advertising clients.

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European Court deals a blow to online freedom of expression

Thursday, June 18, 2015

ARTICLE 19. London, 16 June, 2015. Today, the Grand Chamber of the European Court issued a judgement in Delfi AS v. Estonia (no.64569/09), a case about the news portal's liability for comments made on its website.

In response to the decision, Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19 commented, “The European Court has delivered a serious blow to freedom of expression online, displaying a worrying lack of understanding of the issues surrounding intermediary liability, and the way in which the internet works.

"In confirming the previous Chamber's decision, the European Court showed a profound failure to understand the EU legal framework regulating intermediary liability. ARTICLE 19 is concerned that the decision will have a serious chilling effect on freedom of expression beyond the Council of Europe states. It will also greatly undermine the news publishers' business model at a time when the news industry is already struggling.”

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Apple News service to use real journalists

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

FT, London. 15 June 2015. Apple is hiring a team of journalists to run its Apple News service, part of a broader push by the company to personalise the content it selects and delivers to users of its devices.

The Apple editorial team will liaise with publishers, which include the Financial Times, New York Times, The Guardian and The Economist, which have signed up to provide content to the news service.

A job ad posted for Apple News, which replaces Apple’s Newsstand and will compete with Facebook’s new Instant Articles service, said successful candidates would “identify and deliver the best in breaking national, global, and local news”.

It is seeking candidates with more than five years of “newsroom experience” able to “recognise original, compelling stories unlikely to be identified by algorithms”. Apple declined to comment beyond the job ad.

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We are unionized

Thursday, June 4, 2015

GAWKER. New York, 4 June 2015. Yesterday [3 June 2015], more than 100 Gawker Media editorial employees voted on the question of whether to be represented by the Writers Guild of America, East for the purpose of collective bargaining—that is, whether we want to form a union. The results are in.

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Media groups move on to Facebook

Thursday, May 14, 2015

FINANCIAL TIMES. 13 May 2015, London and New York. In their quest to build profitable and more far-reaching digital audiences, publishers in the US and Europe have turned to the world’s largest social network for help.

Nine media organisations, including the BBC, through its youth-oriented Newsbeat service, the Guardian and the New York Times, have struck a deal with Facebook to publish some of their content directly through the social network rather than simply hosting it on their own sites as part of a trial.

Facebook says the publishers will be able to keep 100 per cent of any revenue from advertising they sold directly. Publishers will also be able to sell remaining ad space via Facebook, which would take a 30 per cent cut.

The nine publishers initially participating in Instant Articles are the New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC News, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild, the German tabloid newspaper.

The move comes as increasing numbers of readers rely on the social network as the main portal through which they receive news. Facebook wants not only to point users to news sites but to be the place where they stay and consume it, too.

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Court makes it harder for US companies to steal your data

Thursday, March 26, 2015

European Court of JusticeEuropean Court of Justice, Picture by Gwenael Piaser

ARS TECHNICA. New York, 25 March 2105.  In a key case before the European Union's highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the European Commission admitted yesterday that the US-EU Safe Harbor framework for transatlantic data transfers does not adequately protect EU citizens' data from US spying. The European Commission's attorney Bernhard Schima told the CJEU's attorney general: "You might consider closing your Facebook account if you have one," euobserver reports.

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Other stories

Google's Adsense a blunt instrument for censorship

First lawsuits against the FCC's net neutrality rules

Google squares up to EU over 'right to be forgotten'

US internet providers slam FCC regulation

Four Lords bid to amend 'snooper's charter' before election

Security is not a crime - unless you're an anarchist

Verizon may take over AOL

Google accuses Hollywood of censoring the internet

Spanish media sites hit by Google News action

TTIP opens a crack in the door

Amazon and Simon & Schuster become best friends

Twitter's head of news quits after less than a year



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