Intrigued by this story in the Daily Telegraph, one that differs quite a tad with the print edition. The print edition reads (and as the ad says: Go Compare):
"Websites should be compelled to delete all data held on users at their request, new European laws will propose.
The European Union has confirmed that it will seek to enshrine a " right to be forgotten" in law. Viviane Reding, the Justice Commissioner, said she would move to legislate, following her warning to Facebook last year that she was dis-satisfied with changes to the social net-working website's privacy settings.
In a speech to the European parliament, Ms. Reding said that " a US-based social network company that has millions of users in Europe needs to comply with EU rules".
Proposals will be unveiled in the spring to force Facebook and other social networks to make stringent data privacy settings the default position for users and to give users control over their information.
" I want to explicitly clarify that people shall have the right - and not only the possibility - to withdraw their consent to data processing," Ms. Reding said. She added that companies would have to " prove that they needed to keep the data".
The EU believes that some websites with their servers based outside Europe are not complying with EU legislation. Facebook, however, believes it is.
Under the new legislation, users could sue websites for invading their privacy and would have a right to be entirely "forgotten" on line."
I come back to the heading on this post - exactly what is it about the words "world wide web" that Viviane Reding does not understand? The Treaty on European Union (TEU) states that the EU draws inspiration from: "the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person". Article 2 of the same treaty mentions that the EU is founded on the values of respect for human dignity and freedom; Article 3 states the EU shall offer its citizens an area of freedom; that same article, (5), states that it shall uphold and promote its values and interests and contribute to the protection of its citizens - however that surely does not give the EU the right to dictate to a private company, based outside the EU, how it must conduct its business.
And if Facebook should tell the EU to "take a hike", what is the alternative? That the EU insists that internet providers block access to those in the EU? Then we enter the world of censorship which immediately contravenes the EU's stated aim of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person to choose what they read or view.
When will the likes of Viviane Reding, this 'bastardess' - and I use the word 'bastardess' to show my acknowledgement of the EU's wish for gender-equality - realise that the people of the world are individual 'free' human beings and as such have the right to decide for themselves what they read, view or partake in; and do not need anyone to 'instruct' them in that freedom.
On a separate matter it would seem that Viviane Reding knows no bounds in which she can 'intervene'. It now appears that on behalf of the EU she wishes to legislate in the matter of mixed-race marriages and intends to bring in legal clarity to property rights for 16 million international couples. Two separate regulations – one for married couples and one for registered partnerships – will provide citizens with a clear set of rules allowing them to identify which court is competent to deal with their case and which law should apply to their assets. Is this not a matter for the two parties to resolve, if necessary by means of a "pre-nup", prior to "getting hitched" as to how, should a divorce be necessary, their assets are divided?
It is indeed a totalitarian system of government whereby people are told they have the right to freedom - which must include the freedom of choice and to make their own decisions, but then have that personal freedom of choice set out in legislation.