The Irish Data Protection Commissioner published her annual report for 2015 [direct PDF link]. Highlights include a novel spin on the old 'a dog ate my homework and then the dog burst into flames and then it fell off a tall cliff' excuse once beloved of schoolchildren everywhere, and the potentially detrimental effect of search engine results forever connecting one's name to a story about potholes. The Irish Times has more.
Records of an internal complaint made by a member of the Defence Forces were destroyed in a flood and a burglary at a military investigating officer’s private house.
The Defence Forces told the commissioner it prohibited the removal of records and that such action may constitute an offence under the Defence Act. But as the military investigation officer was no longer a serving member, he was not subject to military law.
What an extraordinarily unfortunate sequence of events. Let us hope that such a thing can never, ever happen again.
From the report itself –
Of the complaints that were upheld, one related to an interview given by an individual to a local newspaper 7 years previously regarding potholes on the local roads, which on a search of the individual’s name was the first listed result. With the repairs to the potholes completed, the issue was resolved but the individual was unhappy that a search
against their name still produced this story in the results. Arguing with Google on the complainant’s behalf, we successfully made the case that the story was out of date and therefore no longer relevant.
I'm now desperately curious to find out what results do show up in a search for this individual's name, and why they urgently needed to excise their pothole past. Have they come under pressure from the pothole lobby for being a visible anti-pothole voice? Are they looking to find a job in the pothole industry and are afraid their anti-pothole past will catch up with them?
For a pretty accurate assessment of where Donald Trump's presidential campaign is right now, read this thread. Despite any appearances to the contrary, the United States is still the land of opportunity, where any huckster with ambition can turn a campaign to hold the highest office in the land into a Ponzi scheme.
Twitter, still struggling to understand what Twitter is, has launched a thing that helps celebrities push their banalities and sponsored posts to a wider audience of people who don't particularly care. Meanwhile Facebook is paying considerable amounts of money to entice folks to come and play in their live video garden.
Yours etc., @loughlin
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