S2E06: Right to be Forgotten with Elizabeth Ward & Amy Christophers

Today on the show we tackle the complex subject surrounding the ‘right to be forgotten.’ This is the regulation that offers various online protections to EU citizens but is not something that is widely adopted outside of Europe. 

You might think that the laws and legislations around your online rights would be simple but as you will hear this is actually a complex issue as rules can easily cross boundaries of morality and freedom of speech. 

For this episode we have brought in two guests to discuss different points of their experience around these rules. The first is Intellectual Property expert Elizabeth Ward who shares just what a minefield the regulations can be to in a legal context. 

Our second guest is sports presenter Amy Christophers who has personal experience of enacting the right to be forgotten in order to have materials removed from the internet and shares the personal and professional cost of the process.  

  • What is the Right to be Forgotten
  • Legislation in relation to the right to be forgotten
  • The challenges of taking down information from the internet
  • What is the process of delisting
  • How the Data Protection Act is used in law 
  • Lawful processing to protect your IP
  • The personal and professional tool of elicit materials being illegally shared 




R Blank 0:00
Hello, everyone, I’m R blank. And welcome to another episode of the healthier tech Podcast, the podcast about creating a healthier relationship with modern technology. Today, we’re going to be talking about the right to be forgotten, which is the right to have private information about a person be removed from internet searches and other directories. Under some circumstances. This right exists in the European Union, it does not exist in the United States with a few small exceptions. As you’re going to see, this right touches on several significant areas, including privacy, identity and control, as well as broader social issues such as censorship and canceled culture. When I first heard about this right to be forgotten, I thought, That’s a great idea. And I still believe that, but as you’re about to hear, it’s not quite as simple as I first thought. The issues involved are quite complex and involve a lot of consideration and trade offs. Because of the degree of nuance and complexity in this topic, today’s episode is going to be a little different. We’re going to hear from two different voices, one woman who can educate us on the actual law, and then a second woman who can teach us about her lived experience using this right to combat revenge porn. So we can get two very different perspectives on the right to be forgotten. First up, I’m very pleased to welcome Elizabeth ward to the show.

Elizabeth Ward 1:19
I mean, it’s a very interconnected world of the worlds of confidence and breach of confidence and data protection and the right to be forgotten.

R Blank 1:28
Liz is the founding director of virtuoso legal and intellectual property focused law firm in the UK, and she has been recognized by media outlets such as the BBC and Forbes as a go to IP expert. Before we begin a brief word, this podcast is brought to you by my company shield your body, where it is our mission to help make technology safer for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Inspired by the life’s work of my father, Dr. Martin Blanc, one of the world’s leading EMF scientists I founded shield your body in 2012. We provide a ton of great and free resources for you to learn all about EMF radiation, like articles, ebooks, webinars and videos. We also have a world class catalog of laboratory tested EMF and 5g protection products from our phone pouch and laptop pad all the way up to our bed canopy. All of our products are laboratory tested and include a lifetime warranty, learn more about our products, and why we have hundreds of 1000s of satisfied customers around the world at shield your body.com that shield your body all one word.com or click the link in the show notes and use promo code pod to save 15% On your first order with free shipping throughout North America, the UK and Europe. So with that, let’s dive in. Welcome, Liz, welcome to the healthier tech podcast.

Elizabeth Ward 2:39
Great to chat to you today.

R Blank 2:41
Thank you so much for making the time. Could you just just to get started? Could you briefly talk a little bit about yourself in the work that you do?

Elizabeth Ward 2:51
Well, I’m an intellectual property specialist. So the core of what I do is deal with kind of the enforcement of technology. I mean, I run a whole legal practice. So there’s just there’s more than me. But in my time, I’ve looked after lots of things that are peripheral really to intellectual property, including cases of breach of confidence, excuse me, cases where there has been loss of privacy for one reason or another. And the sort of cases where things have got out into the public domain that shouldn’t have got out. And of course, more recently, as a practice, we’ve done a lot of work with data protection, and particularly the impact of the GDPR, which is the latest set of data protection legislation that’s hit the UK.

R Blank 3:40
So I was actually before we get to what what I I’m glad to have you on to talk about I was intrigued a little bit about what what does, what two issues of loss of privacy look like when they reach you know, your desk.

Elizabeth Ward 3:55
And well, it’s always very difficult. I always liken it to try to put the toothpaste back in the tube. It’s a nigh on impossible task. But the sort of things that we see on a day to day basis are where secret formulations and some have been leaked, or passed between people. We deal with a lot of confidential information as it relates to companies, they share confidential information, they want to make sure that there’s a ring of security around it. So say for example, you might be a small biotech company. And you think this particular subject molecule is looking really interesting. We want to share it with another bigger pharmaceutical company who could do more work on it, who can do more r&d on it, you can take it to further clinical trials. But again, all that information has to be selectively given and shared between the two parties. And then hopefully, you know, some kind of agreement on the back of it, but in the case there is There’s no agreements as to go forward and commercialize, then that that information stays retained and is not otherwise disseminated because it’s a massive commercial value. So those are more, that’s more my day to day kind of bread and butter work. But of course, I’ve dealt with all sorts of things from people complaining about information that’s been leaked about them individually, to sort of corporate theft, where there’s been wholesale, taking of information, downloading of databases, that kind of thing for nefarious purposes.

R Blank 5:38
So I really like that metaphor, and I think it’s probably gonna frame a lot of our discussion, which is putting the toothpaste back in the tube. So you just said the example of, of having, you know, confidential, personal information leaked. I mean, what what, what are the kinds of remedies that you could have for a situation like that?

Elizabeth Ward 6:00
Well, normally, the the instant remedy is some kind of an injunction to stop further leakage going on. So say, for example, you quite often see it where the press have leaked information about some public figure doing something that they shouldn’t have done, excuse me. And they want to stop that from being published and republished and syndicated. One of the big problems is that once you get a story out there, it’s very difficult to actually stop it from being syndicated. But we’re seeing lots and lots of cases of that in the press where, you know, people who are footballers, people who are on the edges of as a celebrity and so on how various public stories leaked about them, and that can be massively damaging to them.

R Blank 6:50
So that so that I think, getting getting this information that pardon me, clear my throat. It’s really, that the that is the type of infer, well, let me say it this way. That’s the type of situation or scenario that the right to be forgotten is specifically designed to address is that correct?

Elizabeth Ward 7:19
It’s all it’s all connected. I mean, it’s a very interconnected world, the worlds of confidence in breach of confidence and data protection and the right to be forgotten. They all kind of interweave and link together. But the Right to be Forgotten relates to your ability to write to Google and other search engines, Bing and Yahoo, and say, Please take that story down. It’s no longer true about me. And I need a right to be forgotten and being known for doing something that was overturned at the court of appeal or subsequently turned out to be incorrect information is a way if you like, I mean, before the internet, you know, we go to a newspaper and serve an injunction on a newspaper and stop and publishing. But newspapers now only account for a very, very small percentage of what’s publicized, and what goes out into the public domain. But certainly on social media, and on the internet, generally, it’s very difficult to get a right to be forgotten. To get things taken off the internet, it is possible, it’s a massive job for all the search engines. So they will absolutely hate you when you make an application to do it. But circumstances where it is just right for somebodies reputation to be removed from the internet or, you know, Ill judged reputation to be removed from the internet.

R Blank 8:52
The the, you mentioned, search engines specifically is the right to be forgotten, specifically targeted at search engines, or could it include something like Facebook,

Elizabeth Ward 9:02
at the moment in the case law is related to search engines? Certainly, Facebook and all the other social media platforms will take things down. One of the big problems is of course, people rehash them and then repost them. And you play whack a mole to a certain extent, then when you try and get things taken down, as we’ve seen with the local with the recent sort of the pandemic, and you know, false information that’s put out there by people with another agenda with a anti vaccine type agenda, and that sort of thing. And what happens is those those particular kinds of stories, if you like, because they’ve been taken down on mainstream media and platforms is they’ve developed platforms that develop their own platforms or being broadcast on platforms that are less regulated. And also, as I say, rehash the content intent is rehashed, is posted by somebody else. And then the search engine or the platform has to track it down again and remove it again or block it to go to face back. And they aren’t doing that much better than they used to.

R Blank 10:15
So we keep we keep referring to this, or I do anyway as the right to be forgotten. But I’m wondering, you know, what, what actually is this? Is it is it? Is it a right reflected in a law? Is it a right, that’s actually a concept across multiple laws? What what actually is legally the right to be forgotten?

Elizabeth Ward 10:33
Well, the right to be forgotten comes it comes about a branch of the GDPR. So famous case law back from 2014 in Spain. So it’s Europe wide. In fact, it’s global. I think other jurisdictions have got it, although I don’t get too involved with removing material from other jurisdictions. But I think it’s article 17 of the GDPR. Now, don’t quote me on that a might have got it wrong or section. But it’s basically it gives you the right to apply to platforms for them to and request them within certain parameters to take material down.

R Blank 11:17
So this is the law across the EU, it emerged out of case law, but is now part of GDPR, which is the same so the same law that gives us all those annoying cookie warnings, is the same, the same legislation that that enacted, the right to be forgotten, but it sounds like it’s still from from what I’m hearing from you. It sounds like it’s it’s continually evolving. So it’s not a it’s it’s not really a fixed implementation yet, or am I over reading? Well, no,

Elizabeth Ward 11:45
I think the big problem with all legislation is it follows behind technology. Everything that I do within intellectual property has to move on as technology moves on. You know, I’m, I’ve been around since the sort of internet was born as a lawyer. And so I remember what used to happen in the days when people were more concerned about printed material than what went online. Now, everything’s online. But of course, technology changes, online platforms change online, regulation globally changes online. So it is really difficult to keep up with it from a legislation points of view. But the fundamental principles are there, I think, in most developed parts of the world, certainly, right across Europe, certainly in the USA. But I would imagine that the right to be forgotten is also enshrined in, you know, Australian law, it’s probably there in Japanese law as well.

R Blank 12:42
So what what what rights lead? Does would that give me if I, if I were a citizen of the EU, like, if I posted something really stupid and embarrassing five years ago, would I be able to get that removed? Or? Yeah, what does it cover?

Elizabeth Ward 13:01
It’s a great question. It really tries to remove material from the internet. That’s incorrect. Okay. So if you did something very silly, but it’s a matter of public record, that you did something silly, you got a criminal conviction for it or you are otherwise kind of exposed. The law then has to do this dance around whether or not you it’s justified to take that material down. Now, there may be certain circumstances where material down is is taken down, for example, you committed a criminal offense, and the can’t and then the court of appeals said, No, you didn’t commit that criminal offense, new, new evidence has come to light you’ve been exonerated. And you might want to then remove all the previous stories about that. And that would be legitimate grounds to have the stories and so on delisted and taken down off the internet. However, if your criminal conviction was upheld, and there was, you know, freedom of speech, they did something really silly, and people criticized you and they’ve got a right to criticize what you do. Then the door the the law has to look about whether or not those stories are justified on the basis of the being legitimate public interest there there being a right for the public to criticize what you did, or even to sort of comment on it. And that’s where it gets really gray and really, really hazy. We’ve certainly been approached by people to to have information taken down off the internet. One of the problems is if it’s fairly recent, if it’s within the last five or six years, and so it’s a criminal conviction. It’s difficult. It’s very difficult to get that type Can down. The general rule of thumb is the older the material is. So if you did something, say 10 or 15 years ago, it’s much easier to get it delisted than it is that something say that you did five years ago?

R Blank 15:15
So is this process of D listing? Does it involve? or removing whatever, however, we might want to refer to it? Does it involve the courts? Or is it entirely a private transaction between the person making the claim and the entity with that’s that’s displaying the information?

Elizabeth Ward 15:33
Yeah, generally speaking, it’s an application to the platform’s or to the search engines to take muddy material down and to say, this is false information. It shouldn’t be up there. It’s almost parallel with I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Data Protection Act. But the Data Protection Act says if I, as a business take material about you, and I process it in a particular way, there has to be what they call lawful processing, it has to be accurate, it has to be kept up to date, it has to be something that is of what’s the word of use, not trivial information about you, and so on, and so forth. And if it has been unlawfully processed, or if it, for example, is a complete work of fiction, then use an individual have the right to have that taken off your records, whatever those records are, and in a way, the right to be forgotten, runs parallel in that it runs in tandem with it. So you got a right to be forgotten to write to say, virtuoso legal and say, Take me off your database or whatever information you’ve kept there is completely wrong. And you’ve also got a right to ask Bing or Yahoo or one of the other search engines to also take down information that is about you on the internet, which is manifestly wrong and manifestly unfairly published.

R Blank 17:07
Does the consent of the claiming party though the person who wants something removed as does their consent, play anything play any role in the validity of the removal request, then that by consent, I mean consent at the time of whatever event or information that is, was generated that’s currently being displayed?

Elizabeth Ward 17:31
That’s a good question. I’m not sure that it does have an impact, because circumstances change, and you can withdraw consent, you can say that’s unfair to carry on publishing that about me, even though I might not have objected. To start with. Again, we’re talking sometimes here about the snowball effect. Now, one thing that’s desperately is almost impossible to get off the internet are stories that have gone viral, for example. So where you got to where you got a one off, we had one a few years ago, where we’ve had a couple, one, where a gentleman was convicted of fraud, and another one where he had fallen out with his financial regulator. And both those were relatively straightforward to get taken down. Because they weren’t stories that had been that not gone viral. They have been widely published by different sort of organizations, but they weren’t in the sense that you and I would understand they haven’t gone viral, not everybody has seen them. So those are slightly more easy to deal with, and some things which are

Unknown Speaker 18:43
published everywhere.

R Blank 18:44
So are there exclude the specific exclusions or carve outs? And I’m thinking, you know, public figures, politicians, famous people, are there exclusions for for specific people or populations? And

Elizabeth Ward 19:04
that’s a good, again, is another good question. I think, for children and so on. Even though there may be in the public, I think it’s far easier to get material about them withdrawn. If you’re a famous person, it tends to be deemed to be fair game to put material up there. Unless it’s manifestly you know, absurd and unjustified, in which case they can, you know, apply to have it removed. But the more famous you are, the more widely things go viral and more widely things are broadcast. And certainly when it comes to written material, the courts take a view there where there’s a sort of an intrusion of somebody’s privacy or comfort rights of confidence. There’s there’s more of a bias towards the newspapers being permitted to publish it because you are in the public eye. So say for example, you Were a champion of animal rights, and that you were then found guilty of or, you know, you were accused off and there was evidence that you in fact, were guilty of animal cruelty. You know, there would be justification for keeping that in the public eye or for letting the comment there, carry on. But it would be easier to have it de listed if nobody knew who you were done, if everybody knew who you were, and you were very well known. So, again, that’s the difference, if you like to what the legislation says, and what the case law says in court, because the case law in court basically says, if you’ve put yourself in the public domain as a public figure, and you then get outed for being a bit of a hypocrite, which happens, isn’t it? Yeah,

R Blank 20:50
I’ve heard about Boris Johnson’s Christmas party.

Elizabeth Ward 20:55
work meetings don’t do the work. Nephele was having a work meeting. But yes, Boris and his cronies were, if you’re outed for being a hypocrite. Hey, you’re outed. And that’s it.

R Blank 21:07
And that’s that that’s fair game. So I’m wondering, because the the the examples of the platform’s you cited, Google and Bing, you know, those are those are US companies. Have there been any snags in the actual implementation due to the fact that so many of the, the big platforms are American firms?

Elizabeth Ward 21:28
Well, that’s, that’s, again, it’s an interesting point, because there is a clear difference between the UK for example, and the US in terms of what the US allows for freedom of speech. And this has been a bit of a dilemma really, with the with misinformation that’s been put around, or stories that are put around, because there’s much more restriction over here on what the Brits would concert would consider, you know, racist, or sexist, or those kinds of that kind of language, which in the States, there’s, there’s a much more liberal approach. In the US it’s freedom of speech, as people can say what they like, the Brits are much more buttoned up about it, they get to say what you like, but actually, we don’t like to offend people. And so there is a bit of a conundrum there, there’s a bit of a dilemma and dichotomy between what is acceptable in the US and what is acceptable over here. So has

R Blank 22:35
that hindered, you know, day to day implementation and function of this law in the UK? and the EU?

Elizabeth Ward 22:43
I think so. I think I think the attitudes are, you know, the people who are making those decisions have got different attitudes. So the people in the US have probably got a more libertarian attitude about, you know, freedom of speech than the average Brit would,

R Blank 23:01
ya know, I like where that where that answer is going because I, i, where i One One of the important things I wanted to get to in this interview is this because it is, I mean, I, when I read about the right to be forgotten, it sounds like a very valuable tool. And yet at the same time, I am a proponent of freedom of speech. And that seems to be sort of an essential conflict at the heart of this right and do you agree with that, and you know, what do you see in that conflict

Elizabeth Ward 23:35
it’s a very difficult judgment call and to a certain extent, it’s cultural. The the as I say, there’s much more freedom of speech in the US than the is in the UK, you do not have the right over here to sort of publicly criticize people for their color for example, the color of their skin or for their for their gender. And that’s considered far more fair game in the states and so here in the States accepted the public don’t accept it in the States. I’m not saying that there is a an acceptance by the average American of that kind of language. I think that no, no, I

R Blank 24:24
know, I didn’t take it that way. But thank you for the disclaimer. No, the what I was gonna say is in the states freedom of speech is is a right for people to not have the government silence them. It does not protect people from not having Google silence them or YouTube silence them as we’re seeing with these D platforming actions. So the actual enforcers of this right? They are under no obligation even in the United States to guarantee consumers freedom of speech. So the Do do you kind of see,

Elizabeth Ward 24:57
I see where you’re going. I completely see where you’re going. I think it’s just generally more culturally accepted that in the States, you’ve got this freedom of speech, and people will use the platform much more, they think, much more carefully over here, because we have a whole raft of legislation that would immediately be invoked, regardless of how they performed their free speech.

R Blank 25:21
I see I would also and, you know, this is just my opinion here. I suspect that when you’re talking about mindsets and cultural prejudice, from the United States, there is a prejudice towards believing that if technology enables something is good. So it’s not just about freedom of speech, it’s about not hindering the progress of technology. And if you’re coming in and saying you have to change the content, you know, the the bias would be to why? Why should I because the technology enabled this speech, why should we alter the altar and limit and restrict put artificial limitations on what the technology is enabling us to do?

Elizabeth Ward 26:03
Yeah, yeah, maybe that’s what it is.

R Blank 26:06
So you talk about filing a Form, or not just a form, but you submit a request to the to the to these companies, let’s say there’s something a search result on Google, it’s pretty clearly under, you know, falls under this right. What is the process? And really what I’m hoping to get to there is, is this like the kind of thing that a regular person can take advantage of? Or do you need a lawyer, such as yourself, or perhaps a PR firm? You know, how easy is this to enforce?

Amy Christophers 26:40
For people?

Elizabeth Ward 26:43
It’s they can do it, it is designed for people to make their own applications, I think the difficulty for doing it without guidance. And I’m not saying that PR firms don’t have guidance, because they possibly they do. But without a lawyer looking at it, you have to then work out exactly how your case fits into the legislation. And I think that’s the difficulty for a lot of people. Yes, they can do it. Yes, Google. And on all these other platforms, enable you to, to file it yourself. And you’ve to file things like your, you know, copy of your driver’s license or your passport to show that you are who you purport to be. But as I say, sometimes if there are subtle nuances, we find people come to us because they then need to navigate around them.

R Blank 27:35
Has there? Is there a way of gauging how much activity there is, under this law? Like how many of these requests are are happening? Well,

Elizabeth Ward 27:44
I think it’s difficult to know, I don’t know of any system that monitors it. I do know that there is allegedly a lot of applications. And because of that the search engines in particular can be very slow to respond. Now they’re required to respond under the GDP a within I think it’s two months. So again, don’t quote me on that. But they’re supposed to respond relatively quickly, and turn it around. But I know that they can say, Well, look, this is more complicated, we think we’ve got a back load buttload of cases, we need more time. And I’ve known it takes months actually to get any kind of response from Google in particular. They say that’s because of the volume of cases, who knows, because we’ve just had a pandemic, it may be that they’re short staffed it maybe there’s all sorts of things playing on in the background that we don’t know about.

R Blank 28:38
So when I came into this interview, I came in with the, let’s say, the bias, that this was a useful and valuable, right, that it helps give some important powers back to people, because of just how prevalent technology is and how accessible information is because of that technology. As we’ve been talking about this, however, it seems, you know, while I still agree that a right like this makes a lot of sense. It certainly feels a lot messier than perhaps I was thinking, you know, half hour ago. So you know, with what what are your personal if I can ask, you know, your personal views on this, or is it a is it a good right? Is it is it structured properly? Is it good? How could it be improved?

Elizabeth Ward 29:31
A messy is exactly the word that I would use. It is messy, because that while the big problem with it is is in theory, it works. In theory, it’s useful in practice, it’s difficult to apply and practice with certainly more subtle cases. You probably do need legal help or an expert of some kind to help you move around it. And as I say it’s somewhat dances between Freedom of Speech what’s for criticism and review? What is the legitimate to be in a public domain? What is known what is known to be fact what is known to be fiction. And it actually gets very woolly indeed, to actually pull things off the internet. That’s not to say that people don’t try and do do achieve it. But it’s not straightforward. And

R Blank 30:25
now, I’m sorry, I was just realizing what what is. So let’s say you you submit one of these requests to Google, I assume that they have a team of attorneys reviewing these requests. So it’s handled by by a group of attorneys. And then they come out with a they decline the request, are there options left to that? That consumer that claimant? If, for instance, Google rejects the request?

Unknown Speaker 30:56
Well, I think

Elizabeth Ward 30:57
it’s a very big assumption that they actually employ attorneys at a first level, most of the platforms will employ administrators of one kind or another, who are, who have, you know, a background to what the problem is and what the solutions are, and what the rules are around that. I’ve never been to any kind of an appeal process. But I would assume that there are appeal processes there. Because that’s the way that you could do it. And of course, ultimately, you can run off to the court and say, Look, Google are treating me badly here. Please overrule what Google saying, Mr. Judge. So there are there are those rights of appeal rather than the internal processes of different platforms?

R Blank 31:43
Okay. Are there are there are there any. I mean, this has been very informative for me, and I really appreciate you taking the time to come on the healthier tech podcast to share this information. Before we sign off, and I let you get back to your day. Are there any aspects of this that that that you would like to highlight or that you feel I’ve missed?

Elizabeth Ward 32:07
I think the process should be made clear, I think it’s about as clear as mud for the average applicant. There are plenty of people out there who have been wronged by what’s put out on the internet, and have very little right of redress. And I think it’s really time for us to sit back as a as one world, not just in the UK, not just in Europe, but as one world to sit back and look at what is broadcast on the Internet. And whether or not it’s fair, and how quickly and how effectively, you can get things removed, because it has been the wild west out there. And so, you know, the legislation is very recent. There’s a lot of historic information on Google that’s wildly inaccurate. And we’ve got a nation of youngsters who are coming up through the ranks, who rely on information that’s there. And it’s wrong. There’s, there’s, there’s, there’s just so much misinformation out there. So my plea to the legislators would be and in fact, the platform’s would be to take more notice of this particular right. And to streamline the processes and streamline the, as far as you can anyway, the rules which govern it, because it’s not clear.

R Blank 33:24
Yeah, and I agree with what you’re saying, based on based on what you’ve taught me today about this. Right. I also feel it’s, it’s very, very much in line with a lot of the of the title, our view here at the healthier tech podcast have a lot of the topics that we cover, which is there needs to be a more mindful approach to our relationship with technology we’ve gone now decades, just kind of accepting every new innovation as as a societal good. And you know, technology has done a tremendous amount of good quite clearly. But it just accepting everything that comes along with it as a good is is is leading us down some interesting and perhaps not so positive paths. And I really appreciate you taking the time today to help educate me on how the Right to be Forgotten falls falls into that. So thank you so much.

Elizabeth Ward 34:20
No problem. Thank you for inviting me.

R Blank 34:23
So again, this was Liz Ward, and you can visit and learn more about her firm at virtuoso, legal calm and follow her on Twitter at Elizabeth M. Ward. One. Thank you again, Liz. Thank you. Okay, so now that we know a bit more about what the right to be forgotten, actually is, let’s turn next. Amy Christopher. Amy is a British sports presenter, journalist and award winning social media influencer. Amy has a huge interest in sports, but that’s not what we’ll be talking about today. Instead, I’m pleased to have Amy on the show. So we can discuss her personal experience with what it’s like to actually experience the right to be forgotten in her own life. So let’s get to the interview. Welcome to the show, Amy, thank you so much for for making the time to come on to the healthier tech podcast.

Amy Christophers 35:17
Oh, thank you for having me.

R Blank 35:22
So for those of my listeners who may not yet know You could, could you please just talk a little bit about yourself a little bit about your background?

Amy Christophers 35:30
Okay, so I’m, I’m a former glamour model, time sports presenter. And I recently did a reality show called Wired at first sight.

R Blank 35:44
Cool, then I did

Amy Christophers 35:45
not meet my everlasting husband, unfortunately, still available by.

R Blank 35:54
So So today, we’re here talking about the right to be forgotten. And I thought a good a good entry point into that I read a quote from you. In the sun, and in it, you say, I have a right for it to be forgotten about. And so as like I say, as a starting point, Could you could you talk a little bit about what what it was you’re, you’re talking about there and how you came to learn the term right to be forgotten?

Amy Christophers 36:18
Yeah, so obviously, putting yourself out there on a reality TV show. A lot of people you know, try and find things out about you. Tabloids especially and you know, viewers and things are intrigued to see who you are. And especially if you’re on there saying I am a former glamour model, then they’re gonna go searching for those pictures and things like that. Um, but a lot of them I did get removed. Because I went from glamour modeling into sports presenting, which is obviously a whole nother ballgame had intended. So, yeah, I had to sort of smarten on my image. Yeah, it was just very different backgrounds, you know, so some people in sport didn’t mind it, other people are, but I found upon it. Personally. I’m totally okay with my modeling. I’m very proud of those days. However, there was one incident during my glamour model days, which kind of got taken out of context. So I used to do not sue loaded Fhn page through, so all the landmarks, that sort of thing. And back then, if you were a household name and glamour, then the TV channels would really want you to be on there. So those are the phone lines where you’re sat chatting, people have to pay two pound 50 A minute speak to you, you know that they are fans, and they want to speak to you. So I was doing daytime. So that’s just literally what you’re doing. You’re doing your garden and our lovely like, oh yeah, lovely work. We’re having like, just normal conversations. Sometimes you don’t feel anyone those in my life. But a few cheeky things like, you know, keep it flat and not die guys, that was our motto. Nighttime was a whole different kettle of fish. And then so with working on the channels, they would do trips away to get local content for the website. So that would include photo shoots, strips, teases, and then POV videos and things as well. So they were put these out on their members only sites and be like, well, we’ve got this trip coming up, like Vote for the Girls that you want to do certain things and they sat in the box, it’s all about fantasy, all of these things. So anyway, they said that they wanted a POV video with a threesome with me and a southern model Kira, because we were very close friends. So you know, realize, Oh, my God really isn’t such like, we just, oh, let’s have some wine. It’ll be fun, whatever. So it’s one of our producers filming us who’s supposed to be the boyfriend. So you know, this is like, we’re just absolutely pissin our pants at this so oh my god, this is actually happening. And, you know, on the other side of it, you know that there’s gonna be some like, guy that is one of the viewers of substations and things like that, and like they’re gonna just absolutely be thinking it’s real. And you’re like, No, it’s absolutely not. So we’re like laughing in between, like, as soon as the camera goes off, it’s like, you can even like hear us laughing. And it was just so cringy then I was doing like, some phony American accent thinking I’m really super sexy in all of this lugs, you know, like, we just like to get into the roles and things like that because, for us it was a bit of fun you know, like You literally pretending to be somebody else. And all of this sort of stuff anyway. So it was a very tongue in cheek fantasy video POV. And it basically got taken out contacts. And then it got put onto Pornhub. And all these other things. And when they asked me in car to do it, he said, Don’t worry, it’s, nobody can copy the video, nobody can do whatever, it’s literally

just gonna be on our website, people can download it onto their phone. That’s it, but they can’t reshare it and all of this stuff. So that was that, and I’m like, 20 at this time. So I’m just like, oh, whatever I’ve heard the gospel is sounds like a fun idea, why not bail off. And then not really considering the consequences. I knew I wanted to be a sports presenter, when I grew up when I was older and things like that. But I never thought that this would be something that would come and bite me in the ass. And then, well, until two years later, three years later, four years later, this video keeps appearing. And I’m like, this was never meant to see the light of day. What is going on? So I spoke to the channel. And I was like, can we get this for me? They’re like, we’ve taken it down. But people have copied it. I was like, hold on a minute, you told me that they weren’t allowed to copy it. So how have they done that? Yeah, so these woodtech Say, they always find a loophole right now. You guys probably know all about that. So yeah, it was just a bit like, Oh, right. Okay. So from that point on, then I knew that this video was going to be a problem. And it haunted me for like the rest of my career, basically, up until this summer, when somebody sent it to the sun. And then it was this big Amy porn star, blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, Oh, my God, but because it was put on PornHub. That’s why they could say porn, because it’s on PornHub. But it’s actually not porn. It’s just, you know, some fantasy pretend thing. And it’s just yeah, like, there’s a bit of topless. But that’s it. There’s no, like sexual activity in it at all. And, you know, that, to me is just what my whole glamour career was topless. And then it’s just moving on. I mean, is the visual. So for me, personally, I didn’t think that it was any different, really, at the time, but then it’s just how people take things out of context. And then that then it’s been sent to previous employer did you know you’ve got a porn star working for you the second the other when I’m there, like presenting sports moves. And I’m like, this is really not very helpful. Luckily, a lot of my employers been very understanding. Like, they get it, they’re like, this isn’t porn, it’s fine. But it’s just the fact that people think that they have a right to go through your past, and try and bring you down when clearly you’ve moved on from that stage in your life. So therefore, you should have a right to be forgotten. You know, people are not lot of people do a lot of silly things in their teens and things like this, you know, like, I’m sure, you probably did some things when you were a teenager.

R Blank 43:27
Well, not me. No, not. Everyone does. So So you you felt like it should have, you should have this right for it to be forgotten. Did you know that you had a right for it to be forgotten.

Amy Christophers 43:42
I did kind of start looking into that, because I also paid a lot of money when I was going into sports presenting to get quite a lot of my new shoots and things like that taken off the internet. And I spoke to quite a lot of these different websites and things from these same channel ones, because to be honest, it’s just the bait channel ones that were the issue because of the way things get taken out of context. And, you know, on these bait channels, you’ve got three different tiers. So you’ve got the daytime, which is why and then you’ve got nighttime, which is obviously a lot more on Shia and then you’ve got the porn. So it’s like, okay, but I was in the bottom zero that like I wasn’t up there. So, you know, yeah. So that for me was the main issue to get my association away from that, because that’s what could have been damaging. And, you know, quite a lot of them. Were like, okay, cool, we’ll we’ll take them off. And also I just feel like things like that. Okay, so I did those things over 10 years ago. Now. You’re still making money out of that out of me when you paid me like what probably 250 pounds for that one shoe. So no, like you have enough money off me I have a right for that to be taken down and actually usually pay me. Thank you.

R Blank 45:06
So, so how, in this process, I mean, how it sounds like you You hired an expert or an agency maybe to help you with this? How does that process work?

Amy Christophers 45:19
So I just had one of my loyal friends helped me out. And we basically just, were messaging them like, look, copyright, right of image, things like that. And also just stating the fact that you have had this up for over 10 years, you have a lot more money than you originally paid. So, you know, out of the kindness of your heart, could you please take these down, etc? Yeah, so it’s actually more than like lawyer fees and things like that, rather than having to pay them to take it down. Because they’re not making a loss. They, they’ve had over 10 years of guys doing whatever they do when they look at my pictures and whatever, and spending that money. So yeah,

R Blank 46:04
sure. So that that was the original publisher. But it as you said it had been copied and reposted in multiple places was that yeah, that’s a separate process. Yes. Or?

Amy Christophers 46:14
Yeah. So I mean, the hardest part was is? Well, it’s not the hardest part. Because, as I’ll say, in a minute, it gets a lot more complicated. The more people that copy things, and whatever, it’s like a big spiderweb, you’ve got to contact all these different people then. So that’s very time consuming. But essentially, it is we will see your answers. If you keep posting this, you don’t have the copyright. You’re not the original publisher, so therefore, you’re not allowed to use this. That part’s quite easy. But again, it’s just tracking everybody down. But it’s us that reposted it. And then some people are like, well, we bought it off them. So then that’s when it gets a bit hazy. And then you go back to the originals. And you’re like, Did you sell it to x, y and Zed site? Oh, yeah. Okay, well, you didn’t actually tell me about that. So therefore, I should have got some royalties from that as well. So yeah, it just, it gets very, very confusing. And yeah, there’s, there’s a lot of snakes out there, basically, like, I wasn’t in the small print, because I always read all the small print. And actually, when I was modeling, I had a fake name. And I always signed it with a fake name. And no one ever questions it in all of my bed channel days and all of that. Nobody ever question the fact that I’ve had to show them my passport to go on this trip, and it says, My name is Amy crispers. But I’ve signed it brandy Brewer. But I always did that because I was smart. And I was like, this never comes down to a court of law. I didn’t say shit. You don’t own the right for this at all. Get it? The fuck feeling that?

R Blank 47:44
So how long did this process? Or is it still going? Or is it continual or

Amy Christophers 47:50
ever ongoing? Like I’m always having, like, so I have my lawyer friend that he’ll message me if some it’s like popped back up, because he’s got Google alerts for like certain phrases and things like that. Yeah. So he contacted Pornhub originally said, Look, this, this phrase cannot be allowed back on to like this video. So brandy, Brandy Brewer. And you know, through all of it, like a sentence was not allowed to be put back on. And then obviously then when I went into my first sight, these people have been sat on this and they’re like, Ah, she’s no now under a different name. Let’s put it up under her real name. And you know, and then the whole thing starts again. So yeah, there’s a I think, I think we did actually have something that they couldn’t put it under Amy customers because that’s when I was doing my sports presenting. But I think then it changed to like Amy max. So there was like a way around it. And then I’m like, Oh my God, how many more phrases do I need to get banned from flooding? Pornhub via like, the video is literally so harmless. That now without actually going out in the Sun newspaper, and like everybody talking about it and stuff. I kind of feel like, ah, like dirty secrets out there now like I don’t, I’ve been I’ve addressed it now. And I’m like, well, whatever it’s dumbed down. So I don’t need to be made feel ashamed of it. Because hiding that secret, like, makes you feel dirty and ashamed. But actually, if you watch it, you’re you’re sloppy, like this is clearly a joke. Like, it’s whatever. So, yeah, but I just feel like I shouldn’t have been put in that position to start with, you know, if I say I don’t want that video out there anymore. It shouldn’t be there. You know, that was a long time ago. I moved away from all of that. So

R Blank 49:47
so but this sounds like process that maybe is required you to have more will more knowledge and perhaps a little more money than then a lot of people might, might might might have

Amy Christophers 49:59
yeah Oh, exactly. I mean, I’m not like, loaded or whatever. Like, I didn’t want to have to spend money on this stuff, but I was I don’t think I’m gonna walk through, like, all this stuff comes out. But yeah, so for like, I don’t know, there’s just so should be a right to be forgotten and it shouldn’t have to cost you loads of money it should just be your God given right? That if you don’t want something out there anymore you feel like you’re not that person anymore. I mean within reason I mean if people have you know, done really bad stuff like murder people or you know things like that maybe you know but yeah I think for for normal things I want to say somebody the police officer now or something and I don’t know they posted a topless selfie once or something like that and then somebody digs that out and then that stops on becoming a police officer I don’t know if that would happen by the way. Just totally putting it out there but things like that, you know? That’s yeah.

R Blank 51:07
So So you you after fighting you know this hard and it sounds like you’re still it’s it’s an ongoing process to have your past forgotten you also now have a massive social media presence. Good. What have you learned from this experience? What have you learned about how you approach your your social media these days?

Amy Christophers 51:29
I just want to say that I am not ashamed about my former career. I’m very proud of that I work very hard to get robots in things but literally just the one thing that I regret was that video was for maybe some amateur dodgy shoot for no sighing look awful. Things that you want to be like, for instance, the other day, on my social media, a girl messaged me. And she, she had print screened a tweet that I did. Five years ago, something chose just to let you know, like, there’s still topless pictures of you on your Twitter. And my response was like, Oh, you’re welcome. Okay, and I thought, like, That’s really sweet of her to like to do that. But like, that’s okay. Like, I’m, I’m not too bothered about things like that. It’s more people trying to bring you down by thinking a certain way. You know, so this video people be like, ah, yeah, let’s use this against her and whatever. But the thing is, like, I’ve owned it all now. So I’ve taken away anybody’s power for it. But the point is, I spent, like, over 10 years during this video was going to come out into like, the public domain and things like that. And it’s like, the anxiety and things that that has caused me. Shouldn’t like that shouldn’t have happened.

R Blank 53:04
Yeah. So. So you believe that the the right to be forgotten is effectively should be a universal human. Right. And just by the way, just in case you don’t know, the right to be forgotten does not exist in the United States. Which, but but it does, obviously in in Europe. But you also you think you mentioned there should be some limits to the right to be forgotten. How do you have someone who’s had to go through this process? How do you view that, that balance between everyone should have this right, but there needs to be some limits? What would be a way of striking that balance in a way that is fair, for lack of a better term, and accessible to most people who who may not have all the resources that you do?

Amy Christophers 54:00
I mean, it’s really a tough one, isn’t it? Like how do you control what is allowed to be forgotten and what’s not? I mean, I don’t think that’s really on my shoulders, to say what I feel not around. To do a better argument than myself. But I just think generally, like, I just know, like, personally, for me, I can, I can only speak for myself of the fact that wasn’t a porn star, but I’ve been taken out of context, and to make something else. And, you know, without knowing all of the facts, people can come up with their own conclusions and things and then that’s when it’s harmful because they try and use that against you when they don’t know the originality of it. So things like that. And I just think if that video has just been forgotten about and company just press like Ctrl Alt Delete or Whatever, like, boom, that’s gone. It’s gone forever, then, like it would have been plain sailing. But I’m not played sailing. But you know, I mean, like, that’s something that wouldn’t have happened. But I don’t know, I don’t like. I don’t know yourself, but I don’t know, what do you want to be forgotten about from 10 years ago that you did?

R Blank 55:23
I like to not be known in the first place. That’s That’s my approach. But no, I mean, you’re Yeah, I’m not asking you just because, you know, you get to decide, I was asking you as someone who’s gone through this process, because it I mean, to your point, you just said, you know, hitting Delete, and getting rid of, you know, an aspect of your past. But as you noted, you know, that’s just not how tech works, right? Because it’s never something things are essentially never deleted. And, yeah, so your digital trail becomes part of your identity. And this is something you know, it’s not really off topic. But, you know, I think about these kids that are growing up today, with, you know, because when I grew up, you know, we didn’t, we didn’t even have the web wasn’t invented until I was 16. And Facebook wasn’t invented until I was, I think, what was like 30 or something. So, like, we didn’t have these these opportunities to create these permanently accessible records of your brainless fifths, that way the kids do today. And the trails that they’re creating, and you read the article, I read articles all the time about, you know, someone applying for a job, and they find the employer, they accept, they accept the job, then someone found some horrible, horribly embarrassing photo of them from a frat party in college, and the job was rescinded. And I. So that’s all by way of saying I’m super grateful that I didn’t have to grow up in in the environment that the kids growing up in today, because I don’t think people have actually grappled with these issues. The way that to their full impact, I think we’re just kind of sailing a lot, I think this way about a lot of the implications of technology, we’re just sailing along, we assume that because tech is there, it’s cool, and we should use it, and there’s no harm. And then the harm is revealed years and years later. So that was, the reason I’m asking you is not necessarily because you’re an expert, or in jurisprudence, or EU law, or human rights, but because you’re someone who has actually gone through this and you felt the things that you have felt about being tied down to not not not even just an aspect of your identity from the past, but the perception of an aspect of your identity from the past, or rather a misperception. And so that that was kind of what I was trying to get at, which is, you know, as someone who’s gone through that process, how, how would you? What are your thoughts on how that how this how society should be viewing these rights that that was that was really the kind of the gist of the question not to put you on the spot, but trying to get some some of that insight.

Amy Christophers 58:21
Just, uh, yeah, I mean, you know, most people got drunk, things like that. Personally, for me, I’m, I’m not, I’m probably from like, a generation a little bit younger than yourself, but just a little bit younger. So, you know, we had like, Bebo, MySpace, things like that. I think my MySpace is still out there somewhere. Please forget that. And yeah, you know, do silly things and say silly things and upload things. And I think, especially now with this whole, like, cancel culture. You know, people could be on a reality show, an old tweet gets found and things like that. It’s like, Should we be canceling that person? Or shall we see if they’ve actually grown from that, and maybe if they haven’t grown, and they still have that same kind of mentality, then educate them because education is key to moving forward and making a better society. Because I’m not being funny. I don’t know any teenager that isn’t cocky and thinks they bloody know it, or when they’re arrogant, and they don’t want to learn anything. They know it all and all of this law, and then they put those thoughts out into the Twitterverse and all of that, and then it’s like, yeah, that’s gonna bite you in the ass one day, but it’s my it that it’s not going to be the same thing that they think when they’re in their 30s. So yeah, I think things like that as well needs to be taken with a little bit. A pinch of salt. And definitely, you know, I’ve never been to a frat party. They look like massive FOMO like I’ve watched a lot of Lie oh my god, I probably never open up a job, you know? So, yeah, if there was like photographic evidence and things like that, of like when I was younger, going out clubbing and things, yeah, I would not have a job and I would have nobody respect me. So. So yeah, I think things like that if you’re going for a job. I know, part of me thinks is that even right that these employers should be like going through your personal life to that much detail from your past? Because is that the person that you are? They’re sat in front of them that that job interview? No, it’s not? Nobody’s the same person? 10 years old? I don’t think. And if you are, then you need to have a really hard look at yourself because you’re doing life wrong.

R Blank 1:00:47
Yeah. And you’re not the same person at work that you are at home or at a party.

Amy Christophers 1:00:51
Exactly. And if you conduct yourself in a professional manner, and you’d get your job done, then unless you’re going out, you know, killing people at the weekends, I don’t think business what you do, did I mean, though, like, yeah, well out and have a drink of your friends let loose. Like, I always remember, you know, going into school, looking at your teachers, and you think, Oh, they’re so boring. And then in my, like, 20s, and whatever, I was living with teachers, and I was like, teachers are wild. Like, you don’t think that as a child in school, you think, Oh, this is so so she’s so boring, and whatever. And then, you know, next minute you see them, you know, in an eye out was around a pole and down in pints. So the reds and stuff Genovia like, oh, everybody’s allowed to have, you know, a work personality and then go out and enjoy themselves without being judged for it.

R Blank 1:01:47
Yeah. So. So you if tell me if I’m wrong, your view is that people should be able should be able to be empowered to have the the ability to curate their digital record. And that they again, with certain exceptions, like I mean, an extreme one, but murderers and criminals, horrible things. Yep. Yeah, other horrible things, people should be allowed to curate their, their records. And over time, they should be able to go back and say, You know what, I don’t want that out there anymore. Because I don’t want that to be a part of an identity that people perceive of mine. Is that fair? Yeah. Yeah. And so, so that, that,

Amy Christophers 1:02:34
and also, um, you know, just go into the world family quickly. Like, Katherine, she did this. She did that fashion show where she met William or like, you know, they were at university together. That picture is probably haunted her forever now, you know, the share that Oh, can you see a nipples and whatever. And it’s like, oh, my god, get over it. She was like, 18, she was in a school fashion show, like, relax. But again, that picture is out there is always going to be brought up in certain things. And I just think, no, she has a right for that to be forgotten. Same with Megan Markel. Somebody had topless pictures of her again, right to be forgotten, that shouldn’t be out there. Certain things like that, I think, if things are renewed, to try and drag you down and degrade somebody, I think, totally out of order.

R Blank 1:03:29
Yeah. Well, where where can? Where would you like my listeners to go find to go learn more about you?

Amy Christophers 1:03:39
Know, Pornhub? I’m not on it now. And so I am on all social networks as that supports both.

R Blank 1:03:54
Excellent. So, Amy, thank you so much. I mean, from my perspective, you are you you’re sort of at the forefront of engaging with an issue that is not only very important, but that will impact more and more and more people over time. And in that sense. You’re kind of like a guinea pig. And I know that that’s not an enviable position. And so, you know, my sympathies for what you’ve had to go through. But I also really appreciate you taking the time to come on to the healthier tech podcast, and and share your story. And I also I’m very heartened to see you know, your approach to this where it feels like this is this is really empowered you and your identity and your new career. Is that Is that fair statement?

Amy Christophers 1:04:45
Yeah, I mean, for ages I wanted the right move for God and you know, all of that, but then we didn’t coming out as you know, I just owned it. But the point is, in professional senses when you’re going for a job interview, and like you said, apart a picture of you at a frat party or whatever comes out, like, that person sat in front of an employer isn’t going to be empowered and feel like that. They’re going to feel like, oh, okay, and they’re not going to get that job, which isn’t helpful, you know, I think I’m only able to say that I can own it and whatever, because I am in this position where I have a platform, and I’ve got a voice and I can say that, but, you know, to the average person that’s getting not getting a job and being sacked, because there’s something that they did when they was frat parties, years and years ago. Like, that’s really unfair.

R Blank 1:05:39
No, totally. Yeah. Yeah, no, I agree. I feel like the the, the, your experience is is unique for I think, for several reasons. But you know, not least of which is that just an average person losing a job because I, you know, your reference to cancel culture that I thought that was really, really very relevant to this topic where, you know, I’ve seen I don’t remember all of them offhand. And I didn’t, I didn’t prep them for this interview. But you see stories almost every week, where someone had a tweet 10 years ago. And you know, they just left, you know, they just got a job. And the 10 year old tweet, maybe from college, maybe from high school was resurfaced, and they immediately lose their job. And it the canceled culture is kind of a separate issue. But it ties into this one, so, so tightly. And I really appreciate you bringing that up. And But getting back to the point, which is most people, or a lot of people wouldn’t have the gumption as well as the resources to sort of confront this head on the way that you did. Which is, which is why this is I think, such an important topic for people to be talking about, because this is something that society really does need to to, is, there’s no easy answer. But there needs to be a discussion about a way to come to terms with people’s right to control their identity, versus the way that technology is just built to to operate and interact with society. So again, thank you so much for taking the time to come on to the healthier tech podcast today. I really enjoyed getting the chance to meet and talk with you. And thank you very much.

Amy Christophers 1:07:15
Thank you for having me.

R Blank 1:07:19
Well, as always, I’m joined here by my co host, Stephanie, Steph, what did you What did you think of that? That interview?

Stephanie Warner 1:07:28
Well, that was a fantastic interview. And I, you know, I came into this interview thinking I had an understanding of the complexity, and the importance of the right to be forgotten. And I left with really under realizing that you know, how complex it really is. And messy is definitely I don’t see any way it couldn’t be a messy implement implementation, because it does, you know, really hit our fundamental rights of, you know, freedom of speech, trying to define what should be taken down versus, you know, what somebody would like to have taken down versus what you know, really should be. And it’s just so much more complicated than I realized.

R Blank 1:08:13
Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, I came into this really just focused on the importance of it. And I didn’t really think at all about the cleanliness and the complexity of how it would work in real life. I like, I wrote this down as soon as she said it the toothpaste back in the tube. I mean, that is, I mean, how do you put the toothpaste back in the tube? And obviously, you can’t in that metaphor, but you can kind of clean it up a little. And that’s really what the law seems to be aimed at.

Stephanie Warner 1:08:43
Yeah. And in that, in that metaphor to the, you know, obviously, you want your toothpaste back in the tube, but the some things shouldn’t be some things, you know, it’s it’s, there are some things that we would information that needs to be in public domain that somebody who’s you know, a direct, you know, player would, you know, probably want to be removed, but that doesn’t mean that it should be, and that’s where it’s super complicated. And it really does overlap, the freedom of information, the freedom of speech. And I thought it was also interesting, that, you know, what bubbled up is the cultural differences and implementing this sort of a law?

R Blank 1:09:25
Well, I actually, yeah, I thought what I, the part of this that really stuck out to me, is just what Liz thought of America, because I think she you know, just like Americans think of all British is prim and proper, and drinking tea out of a, you know, fine china. She was thinking, you know, we all respect freedom of speech. You know, it’s fundamental to every action that we take, but in a couple of the examples I said, I could come up with a whole bunch more, that is just not the approach the tech companies are actually taking. So you know, And you’re hearing about it right now with the calls to, to D platform, Joe Rogan, who is obviously the most popular podcaster in the United States, because of things he is saying. And so people and tech company and in that case, Spotify seems to be standing behind Joe Rogan. But you see it all the time in terms of YouTube, D, monetizing, and D platforming content creators, we see it on Google D ranking certain search terms in terms of their algorithm. So companies really have no problem implementing this type of censorship. And they it’s not against the law to do so because they are not the government. But when, you know, she looks at the United States, she’s seeing a society that really, you know, above all respects, the freedom of speech. And that’s, that, to me it The difference here is that when in the examples I’m citing, you have corporations just making decisions about what to censor, whereas under a right, like the right to be forgotten, you act, you have governments setting certain parameters of what can be censored. The problem there is just how complex and messy it is.

Stephanie Warner 1:11:12
Well, and it’s not there’s no formula, there’s no formula. And, and when when you talk about, you know, big platforms set, you know, conducting censorship, it’s it’s based on, it’s not just, it’s not based on what’s right and wrong. It’s based on, you know, who has the loudest voices, it’s based on the bottom line. And, you know, you use the example of Spotify and Joe Rogan that follow the money, they’re going to make more money by having this this podcast on. So you know, they’re not going to deep platform. So I, you know, I think that that’s to me, that that what the companies are doing on their own is separate from the law. If that makes any sense. It’s more based on what goes viral, what makes the money, what people are paying attention to,

R Blank 1:12:00
right. So what I’m not, but what I’m saying is, and this wasn’t the focus of the interview, no, no, but it is what stood out most to me is that this type, the GDS, the right to be forgotten, basically enshrines a certain type of censorship in law. And there she was saying, there’s opposition kind of cultural opposition from American companies in implementing this because of a right to the the American cultural adherence to freedom of speech, which is a constitutional right, but it’s it’s a right against the government stopping your freedom of speech. So what I’m saying is this type of censorship does happen all of the time in the United States. And on US based tech platforms. It doesn’t happen from the government, which is what is prohibited, but it happens all the time. And so, you know, I, I feel there is value in having governments step in and at least set some standards for what is sensible content when it comes to some and I know that sounds that that’s in a sense, that’s a trigger word for a lot of Americans. But that is what the right to be forgotten is covering. That’s what that’s what the revenge porn legislation out in California covers it is a particular type of censorship. And so there there is value to me in at least having governments have a role in setting the standards for what type of content should be banned, or censored or removed, versus just corporations themselves making that decision without any legislative guidance.

Stephanie Warner 1:13:36
And that was not there. Because I think I think we I think we could probably talk about this Yeah, nauseum for quite a time.

R Blank 1:13:43
And I don’t think we came out with any firm answers on this. I mean, I’m glad that we had Liz on, because this is a really important subject. And we learned a lot. Yeah, and I think what we learned is how complex and messy this is one deed and

Stephanie Warner 1:13:55
I think, I think also, you know, for the listeners, it’s, it’s, uh, you know, take some time to think about what you know, not necessarily the law and how it would be implemented. But think about, you know, where you’re where you think for yourself individually, there are boundaries, maybe on what is okay, and just kind of think about you at you had mentioned in the interview, that we kind of accept technology and all that the good and the bad, and we’re just kind of programmed at this point, because it is still fairly new to just accept it. And I think it’s an interesting reflection to think about, you know, individually where, where, where those overlaps, feel revealed discomfort with those overlaps. And, you know, hopefully, as time goes on, we’ll be able to add some protections and I do agree with you that the government is probably going to have to make some sort of an outline of where what’s okay and what’s not that will empower individuals to to be in a little bit more of a power position about what’s, what’s being posted about them. Yeah.

R Blank 1:15:12
Well, I hope I hope everyone listening had learned learn some things here because again, this isn’t this isn’t a clear cut issue. But as you say, Stephanie, I hope that this has given you some food for thought so you, you know that that you can start evaluating the issues that that we covered because I think they are important. They’re important for our lives. They’re important for our identities, and they are important for disconnecting. Thank you, Steph. Thank you. Well, that does it for today’s episode. Remember, if you like this show and want to hear more, please subscribe to healthier tech podcast available on all major podcasting platforms. And if you have a moment please also leave a review reviews are really critical to help more people find this podcast and learn about the important and undercover topics that we discuss. Also, you can learn more and sign up for our mailing list to get notified when we have new interviews, webinars, ebooks and sales at shield your body calm. You can also just click that link in the show notes. While you’re there at shield your body calm you can check out our world class catalog of laboratory tested EMF and 5g protection products. Don’t forget to use promo code pod to save 15% On your first order from shield your body comm with free shipping throughout North America and Europe. Until next time, I’m R blank. And I want to thank you so much for tuning into the healthier tech podcast. Always remember to shield your body

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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R Blank

R Blank

R Blank is the founder of Healthier Tech and the host of “The Healthier Tech Podcast”, available iTunes, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms.

R has a long background in technology. Previously, R ran a software engineering firm in Los Angeles, producing enterprise-level solutions for blue chip clients including Medtronic, Apple, NBC, Toyota, Disney, Microsoft, the NFL, Ford, IKEA and Mattel.

In the past, he served on the faculty at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering where he taught software engineering, as well as the University of California, Santa Cruz.

He has spoken at technology conferences around the world, including in the US, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and he is the co-author of “AdvancED Flex Development” from Apress.

He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Columbia University. He has also studied at Cambridge University in the UK; the University of Salamanca in Spain; and the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

Connect with R on LinkedIn.

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