In an issue concerning citizens' right of individual privacy versus the public's right to know, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on Saturday lashed out against the European Court of Justice's ruling, ordering Wikipedia to remove private information on individuals from search results.
Calling the ruling "ridiculous," "very bizarre," and "a deep injustice and terrible danger in European law," Wales called for a review of the decision.
Wales insisted that truthful information in court records published in a newspaper on orders of the court should not be considered "private" information. Truthful, non-defamatory information obtained legally, hence, may be posted on Wikipedia. Wales believed that the "right to be forgotten" ruling would only suppress the right of the people to know, censorship of knowledge, pure and simple.
"We have a typical situation where incompetent politicians have written well-meaning but incoherent legislation without due consideration for human rights and technical matters," said Wales in an interview with Techcrunch.
Google complied with the ruling and received 12,000 online requests on the first day of implementation. Users who would like to have their information removed signed a form that included some Wikipedia information that they wanted to be deleted.
As of Day 3, Google CEO Larry announced that 31 percent of the requests concerned fraud and scam; 20 percent were about arrests for violent or serious crimes; 12 percent were related to arrests involved in child pornography; five percent involved the government or the police; and two percent involved celebrities.
As part of its compliance with the rule, the search engine formed an advisory committee that would write the procedures that would protect the right of individuals to privacy and the right of everyone to know.
The five-man committee included Frank La Rue, a UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression; Prof. Peggy Valcke, a leading European expert on media and communications law; Jose Luis Piñar, professor of administrative law based in Madrid; Luciano Floridi, professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information; and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.