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Do We Have The Right To Be Forgotten?

Do We Have The Right To Be Forgotten?

Earlier this week, the European Union’s highest court ruled that Google must, upon request, remove links to personal information that may be outdated or inaccurate. It’s a decision that has sparked fierce debate between free speech advocates and people who place a high value on personal privacy.

In Europe, the right to be forgotten – to have the traces of one’s past disappear from public view after they are no longer relevant to your current situation – is enshrined in law. The United States does not have a similar protection built into our legal system.

However, that fact may be steadily changing. Courts have ruled that minors must be afforded the opportunity to delete their own social media postings and profiles. Pending legislation banning ‘revenge porn’ would permit people to have intimate images of themselves removed from websites, even if they are not the owners of the images. The door to sweeping legal change cracks open slowly, but once it’s open, it’s very hard to shut it again.

What does this mean to your business?

Right now, unless you’re engaged in trade in the European Union, probably not a whole lot. If you are, be aware that going forward, the information you discover via a Google search to research the background of a potential employee, investor, supplier, or partner may not be as complete as it formerly was.

This ruling doesn’t remove the information from the public record or even from the internet – it merely prevents Google from linking to it. You will still be able to access this information, but you may need to work harder to do so. It is a reasonable expectation that we will see services designed to provide the information scrubbed from Google to interested parties for a price; if this is relevant to you, you’ll want to factor that information into your future cost projections.

For business owners who are entirely domestically based, expect change to happen at a much slower pace. The structure of the law here is tilted in the favor of the publisher – in this case, Google – rather than the subject of the story being published. This is a mixed blessing, as you have probably already experienced.

While you have the ability to find out a lot about potential employees, vendors, and so on relatively easily through a Google search, you’re also still vulnerable to the impact of a negative review someone posted about your business a decade ago. The laws that will evolve to protect the business community from the disproportionate impact of old, negative commentary will undoubtedly cause some inconveniences as well. We may not have a right to be forgotten yet – but the day will come when the public has a greater say in what stories are told about them.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office