Do search engines co-shape the way we perceive each other? And if so, what are the issues at stake? Paulan Korenhof, promovendus at Privacy & Identity Lab, and Janneke Belt, online professional, will present an enquiry into the manner in which search engines can affect our use of information and our identities over time both from a philosophical and practical perspective. The question whether – and if so, what – we should do with this ‘co-shaping’ will be addressed at the audience.
The technological development of the Web has been a reason of concern with regard to the availability of online personal data, and especially with regard to the 'persistent' availability; the state of information occurring or existing beyond the usual, expected, or normal time: the availability of information over time as individuals were generally used to in the “analogue” era. The "right to be forgotten or erasure" in the General Data Protection Regulation-proposal aims to deal with the problems created by such a persistent availability. However, the exact scope and character of the problems are still unclear and it is highly debatable if – and till what extent – the so-called “right to be forgotten” can be considered a solution to the problems. The underlying issue here is that it is still insufficiently clear what the character of the problems is, and which role technology actually plays in them.
In this presentation we aim to shed some light on the character of the problems that are caused by the persistent availability of personal information on the Web for individuals in the social sphere, given the mutual shaping of technology, social behaviour and norms. The interplay between these three aspects is important, because they shape each other. Information technologies like the Web shape the manner in which individuals can use information, and in return lead to and may require changes in social behaviour and legal and/or social norms.
The presentation will be given by Janneke Belt and Paulan Korenhof. Paulan will approach the subject form her applied philosophical research on the Right to Be Forgotten, while Janneke will provide her view with an eye on her practical know-how of Townshall archives.