Your Right to be Forgotten

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“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” says Warren Buffet. A quote which, thanks to digitalization, is even more true today than it was ever before. But what happens after those critical five minutes when things just don’t go the way they should, or even worse, what if you are negatively portrayed in media without any wrongdoing on your part (think ‘Fake News’)? Will your reputation be tarnished forever, or do you have a right to be forgotten?

The right to be forgotten is a concept that involves the idea of every person having the right to have his or her personal information, which is somehow available on the internet, deleted. The most popular case occurred in Spain in 2014, when Mario Costeja González asked Google to delete links to an old newspaper articles about his bankruptcy. The piece, just 36 words long and dating back from 1998, had a prominent position among Googles’ search result. He argued that the information was outdated and had no legitimacy to still be found. The case was brought to the European Court of Justice. The court ruled that search engines as data controllers are obliged to consider deletion requests if they are justified. The result of this case was, that Google, as soon as facts about it were made public, was overrun with deletion requests. However, this did not solve Mr. Costeja Conzáles problem and in fact, the victory was pyrrhic: While he had concerns about 36 words prior to the court case, 850 articles in the world’s largest media outlets were published the day after the court ruled in favour of him. The famous Streisand effect caught up with him. That was not the only problem, though. In this specific case, only Google Spain was taken to court, which means that the link was still accessible on pages in other languages. Moreover, the right to be forgotten is in direct conflict with the notion of an open web and a free flow of information. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, describes the EU’s right to be forgotten as “deeply immoral”. The biggest critics argue that this so-called right represents a step towards media censorship.

The Basics

The General Data Protection Regulation or in short GDPR, which went into effect in all EU Member States on 25 May 2018, regulates the “right to erasure” in Art. 17. The title of this article contains the addition in brackets “Right to be forgotten”. However, the provision mainly contains rights and obligations to delete certain data. Only Article 17.2 continues with the idea of the right to be forgotten, to prevent or reverse the (further) dissemination of personal data (in particular on the internet), at least to some extent. The regulation reads as follows:

Where the controller has made the personal data public and is obliged pursuant to paragraph 1 to erase the personal data, the controller, taking account of available technology and the cost of implementation, shall take reasonable steps, including technical measures, to inform controllers which are processing the personal data that the data subject has requested the erasure by such controllers of any links to, or copy or replication of, those personal data.

Long story short

To this day, the right to be forgotten is not specifically regulated by law. The data protection laws, which are country-specific, only contain provisions on the conditions under which personal data must be deleted.

From a technical point of view, solutions have not yet been found to guarantee the eradication of outdated or wrong content. X-pire, for example, is a software that allows users to give their pictures an expiration date after which the photo becomes unrecognizable. Yet neither this nor any other program on the market offers complete protection, as copies of the pictures could be made and reposted before the originals are encrypted.

So, what now?

Ultimately, your most promising choice is to reach out to the person who uploaded the content and to apply for deletion on the relevant websites and search engines. This is time-consuming but guarantees the fastest success if your request is justified. Therefore, you firstly try to get in touch and make your case. If you are an organization that is already exposed in media, you need to proceed with caution as an aggressive behaviour from your side can easily backfire. This also hinges on a positive and good reputation that you have already in place. Secondly, if you have credible grounds to be believe that content is defamatory on a personal or corporate level, you can request removal based on reputational damage. Let’s look at these options. For example, the most popular search engine, Google, offers its own pages for deletion requests.

Apply to delete outdated content on Google

This request can only be submitted for pages or images that have already been modified or removed from the Web. Simply enter the URL that you copied from Google search results and request removal. If the request is successful, the cached result and snippet will be removed from Google search results.

Apply to delete other content on Google

On this page, you will find instructions on where to report content that you wish to be removed from Google’s services in accordance with applicable law. This procedure, however, is much more time-consuming than the deletion of outdated content, as Google asks for background information on why they should delete this content. One also needs to bear in mind that transparency is fundamental for Google: Without having legal evidence, deletion requests are often turned down. There are many points to consider for your request to be successful. Is there public interest behind the information? Is the information time-critical? Are public figures involved?

With that being said, even if there are doubts as to whether your application is justified or not, it may be worth making the claim. There are many examples where Google has granted the request for cancellation, although there was no right to do so. Should Google reject the request, a written justification must be provided. If you don’t agree with the justification, you may file a lawsuit against it.

File a lawsuit

The final option, if all claims are rejected, is to go to court. The extent to which this is promising depends on the individual case: Are personal rights violated? Was there a violation of honor? Does the negative content perhaps even concern unfair competition? Is it a public person? Is the offender known or is it a complaint against an unknown person? There are many reasons for and against (not) going to court. But what is already clear in advance: a court case is time-consuming, expensive, and may have to be repeated in different countries until all links, photos and posts disappear.

It may only take five minutes to ruin your reputation – but what happens after these ominous 5 minutes is at least partly in your own hands. Repairing reputational damage can be done, but it is no easy feat. Your best bet is to make sure everything is in place not to provoke negative mentions to start with. Learn more on how Reputation Affairs can support you on that journey and contact me directly.

Vision Graubünden 2050

Dieser Beitrag entstand auf die Frage des Bündner Regierungsrates Christian Rathgeb, wie meine Vision für den Bündner Tourismus 2050 ausschaut. Eine spannende Reise für mich selbst, dessen Output im Buch “Vision Graubünden 2050” veröffentlicht wurde. Das Buch ist sowohl auf Amazon als auch im Somedia Verlag erhältlich.

Nur bei klarer Sicht können wir Sterne sehen

Eine Vision ist wie das Greifen nach den Sternen. Sie beschreibt den idealsten aller idealen Zustände, der vermutlich nicht erreichbar ist. Auch wenn 2050 noch in weiter Ferne liegt, erahnen wir heute schon, wie das Sternbild aussehen wird. Es hängt für mich mit der demografischen und digitalen Entwicklung zusammen.

2050 leitet meine Generation Y Unternehmen, trifft politische Entscheidungen und trägt die Verantwortung fur unseren Kanton. Wer unsere Bedürfnisse und Werte am besten versteht, wird uns als Touristen gewinnen. Individuell, hinterfragend, bestens vernetzt, weltoffen, aber mit Angst vor dem Scheitern und Problemen, sich festzulegen. Und wie geht das? Geld, Autos und ein Haus sind für uns nicht alles. Materielle Güter binden, die Generation Y aber möchte möglichst frei sein. Die Shared Economy, geteilte materielle und digitale Güter, werden an Bedeutung zunehmen, Plattformen wie AirBnB und Uber an Einfluss gewinnen. Warum eine Bohrmaschine kaufen, wenn ich doch nur ein Loch in der Wand will?

DSC_7649Wir verreisen öfter, dafür kürzer, wir wollen das Geld nicht in das Transportmittel, sondern in Aktivitäten vor Ort investieren. Reisen ist zum Statussymbol unserer Generation geworden, Erlebnisse jenseits von 08/15 deshalb höchst willkommen, oder wie Schweiz Tourismus es formuliert: «Erlebnis ist das neue Statussymbol, Sightfeeling das neue Sightseeing.»
Technologische Entwicklungen haben uns viele Türen geöffnet – gerade auch im Tourismus.

SkilfitWar es vor 80 Jahren der Skilift, der den Wintertourismus revolutionierte, ist es nun die vierte industrielle Revolution: Die Verschmelzung von physikalischen, digitalen und biologischen Technologien. Augmented Reality, die «erweiterte Realität» durch eine Kamera und einen Bildschirm, wird uns
zukünftig als unterstützende Informationsquelle dienen. Sie erzählt uns als Stadtführer Geschichten, leitet uns an fremden Orten, erklärt uns bei Bergwanderungen die Topografie und beschreibt in Museen die Bilder. Aber auch im Zentrum einer Aktivität selbst kann Augmented Reality stehen: als virtuelle Jagd oder sogar als Pokémon-Spiel.

Kryptowährungen wie Bitcoin und mobile Bezahllösungen wie Twint und Paymit vereinfachen und vergünstigen Transaktionen und werden physische Brieftaschen überflüssig machen. Für Hoteliers und Restaurantbesitzer der Zukunftbedeutet dies, sich nicht mehr mit dicken Geldbündeln und Fremdwährungen quälen zu müssen.

DSC_07432050 werden selbstfahrende Autos und Züge das Landschaftsbild prägen. Ökonomischer Nebeneffekt: Für die Rhätische Bahn und Postauto lassen sich Personalkosten einsparen. Wobei dieses Argument natürlich nicht nur auf Gegenliebe stösst.
Von manchen geliebt, von manchen gehasst, sorgen Drohnen bereits heute für Schlagzeilen. Potenzial haben sie auch im Dienstleistungssektor. Lieferungen von Essen in abgelegene Ortschaften, Mithilfe bei Infrastrukturprojekten an exponierten Lagen, Erstversorgung nach Katastrophen, und im Jahr 2050 können vielleicht sogar Personentransporte von ihnen übernommen werden. Dadurch bringen Drohnen auch für die Umwelt positive Nebeneffekte: beispielsweise weniger Strassentransporte und weniger Bebauungen in der Natur.

Stitched PanoramaWie ich mir den 5. Februar 2050 vorstelle? Innovationen werden den Tourismus kostensparender, abwechslungsreicher und umweltfreundlicher machen. 45 Minuten dauert an diesem Donnerstagabend die Reise mit dem Schnellzug von Zürich Flughafen nach Chur. Ich freue mich auf das dreitägige Wochenende,, der 4-Tage-Woche sei Dank. Hologramme weisen den Touristen am Bahnhof den Weg in die Altstadt von Chur. Diese hat sich in den letzten 30 Jahren über die Landesgrenze hinaus einen Ruf als lebendige Studentenstadt mit einzigartiger Work-Life-Balance und Tor zu einem grandiosen Erholungsgebiet erarbeitet.
DSC_3272Viele Gäste fahren jedoch gleich weiter, wobei sie nicht von Zuoz oder Savognin sprechen, sondern vom Oberengadin und der Albula. Denn der Bündner Tourismus vermarktet sich nur noch gemeinsam als «Destinationen» und nicht mehr individuell mit einzelnen Verkehrsbüros. So können Synergien genutzt und die Zielgruppen besser erreicht werden. Diese Destinationen sprechen heute die unterschiedlichsten Touristen an: Naturverbundene und Digitalinteressierte, Ruhesuchende und Sportbegeisterte, Alte und Junge, Wohlhabende und weniger Wohlhabende. Für jeden Gast gibt es die geeignete Ortschaft und das passende Programm. Wobei viele angebotene Aktivitäten nicht wetter- und jahreszeitabhängig sind. So können die saisonalen Schwankungen und der gelegentliche Schneemangel besser abgefedert werden.
Das selbstfahrende Auto von Mobility fährt soeben vor und reisst mich aus meinen Gedanken. Es bringt mich trotz des mittlerweile eingesetzten Schneefalls in 30 Minuten nach Laax. Die gemietete Wohnung erreiche ich tief entspannt. Und obwohl ich den Besitzer nicht kenne, fühle ich mich auf Anhieb wohl darin. Das Frühstück am nächsten Morgen steht pünktlich vor der Haustür – und das, obwohl ich es erst zuvor spätabends bei Coop bestellt habe.

LAAX inside AppDas Skiticket wird direkt via Smartphone abgerechnet. Dies erspart mir den Weg zur Touristeninformation und den Kauf einer Keycard. Gestärkt steige ich in die Bahn, die mich unterirdisch in einer Röhre auf den Berg bringt. Eine grossartige Erfindung: Windanfällige Seilbahnen wurden überflüssig und abgebaut, das Landschaftsbild verschönert. Während der Fahrt schweifen meine Gedanken zurück in die Zeit, als mein 26-jähriges Ich hier Ski fuhr. Verändert hat sich viel, das Wichtigste jedoch ist gleich geblieben: Die Natur ist noch immer unser höchstes Gut. Investitionen in erneuerbare Energiequellen und der verantwortungsvolle Umgang mit Ressourcen halfen Graubünden, sich als Oase und Vorbild in einer immer hektischer gewordenen Welt zu positionieren. Der Himmel ist wolkenfrei, bemerke ich oben auf dem Gipfel. Und das ist wichtig, denn nur bei klarer Sicht können wir die Sterne sehen, nach denen wir greifen wollen.


Das Buch Vision Graubünden 2050 mit vielen weiteren spannenden Ideen ist unter anderem auf Amazon sowie bei der Südostschweiz verfügbar.

About Rub-a-Dub, Baked Bean, Sausage Rolls and 007

About Rub-a-Dub, Baked Bean, Sausage Rolls and 007

Dried up lawn, no rain, and temperatures around 30° Celsius – That’s how London presented itself to us at the end of June. The all England Lawn Tennis Club opened its door at Wimbledon for the Lawn Tennis Championships for the 129th time (if I counted correctly…). Everything was set for an unforgettable five-week stay at the UKs’ capital. And it delivered.

2015-07-04 05.59.32The Story about the worlds’ most famous queue at Wimbledon

It is the most important tennis tournament of the year, rich in tradition and an unforgettable experience for the spectators as well as for the players. The crux: only around half a million people are actually able to attend on site during the 13 days. Two third of the tickets are sold in advance or given to VIPs. The rest, some 10.000 tickets a day, are sold on match day. Only a few of them however are valid for one of the three biggest courts, the rest will only give access to the facilities. This leads to a weird situation. People would camp for two nights in front of the entrance in order to receive centre court tickets. As I wasn’t prepared to do that I took the first train to Wimbledon at 5a.m. and arrived at the queue half an hour later, in joyful anticipation on spending a great day watching world class tennis. I got a queuing-ticket (yes, such a thing really exists) and found myself anywhere but close to the entrance with the number 7056. During the next seven hours I made new friends and studied my fellows. Just after noon it was eventually my turn to get in, exhausted but lucky.

2015-07-08 16.16.11The Story about the Tube Strike

On July 8th and 9th, London’s streets appeared to be hosts of a new apocalyptic movie. London’s heart stood still. All major “Tube Unions” were striking. The polite Londoner would show acceptance for the union’s demand, but yet swearing behind closed doors. Newspaper would mention that salaries of tube drivers were already higher than the salary of most Englishmen. Politicians were urging for a quick solution. Twitter was running wild. It all didn’t help, the stations remained closed.
I decided to avoid this chaos and took a day of, playing tennis instead.

DSC_7836The Story about going out

One thing that I personally like a lot is the fact that the night life starts after the work – which means at 5 p.m. One of the reasons might be that the tube stops its service after midnight and the night busses sometimes tend to be, ähm, interesting. Another reason is that the majority of the pubs have to close between 11 p.m and midnight. Whatever the case may be, the result is that you’ll be home at a very convenient time which is perfect for someone who likes to sleep (like me).

2015-07-11 17.49.04The Story behind 007

In the James Bond movies the double 0 stands for the “licence to kill”, however, the original inspiration of 007 is dated back to the 16th century and belongs to John Dee: Spy, mathematician and astronomer for Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. According to the legend, he signed his reports to the queen with 007 – 00 representing eyeglasses, 7 standing for his seven senses. Yes, he really thought that he has seven: The five common ones supplemented with intuition and prophecy.

2015-07-26 16.24.53The Story about the Emirates Cup

A short story, a prediction, and only interesting for football fans. On the last weekend in July, Arsenal hosted the Emirates Cup, composed of four teams playing two games each: Arsenal (obviously), Vfl Wolfsburg, Olympique Lyon and Villareal. Arsenal won the cup, not at least because of an impressive 6:0 win over Lyon. And here comes my prediction: After more than 10 years without winning the Premier League, the gunners will end the 15/16 season on top of the league.

2015-07-10 16.45.10The Story about Cockney Rhyming

Are you still wondering about the heading? Don’t worry, most people do.
Originated in the 19th Century at the East End (by criminals as some people state), these bizarre rhymes spread over London and still causes confusion among tourists (and perhaps also locals). Actually it’s simple. Words are changed by proper names or word combinations which rhyme with the original word. “Hair” turns that way to “Barnet Fair”, “Money” to “Bees and Honey”. Barnet Fair – Hair, Bees and Honey – Money. Our teacher at Stafford House, Mark, loved to use such expressions. And here comes the solving for the headings enigma: Rub-a-Dub – pub, Baked Bean – Queen, Sausage Roll – goal. Or in other words: About pubs, the Queen, goals and British history. And if you are interested in pictures, here we go.

From Berne to Lisbon – by plane

From Berne to Lisbon – by plane

Not with a night train but by plane, yet inspired by Pascal Merciers book. Leaving Switzerland on a cloudy pre-pre-summer day and arriving in a warm Lisbon, a city I wanted to get know for a long time.

Panorama Sao Jorge und BaixaAnd yes, it is a beautiful city, despite economical and emigrational issues. It has the right size to discover most places by foot, but if you prefer public transport there are plenty of busses, subways and trams at your disposal. Oh yes, and ships which cross the river Tejo. Even though I’m wondering if one couldn’t name it a “lake” or even a kind of a fjord, considering its size.

DSC_7527We stayed at an Air BnB close to the castle and, almost, on top of one of the many hills. That doesn’t just sound like a lot of hiking and climbing, it is like that. At least if you missed the “elevador”, elevators which would bring you a little easier on top of the hills.

The city was clean and vivid with lots of tourists, hence, many locals trying to sell you things. And with things I mean drugs. And with drugs I mean teabags pressed like hashish and flour packaged like cocaine. On one day I was counting eleven young men who wanted to sell these things. A simple “no” is accepted though, and they will even wish you a nice stay. We didn’t meet any pickpockets and in four days we were only asked twice for money. Both times in the subway. We felt very secure and the Portuguese we met were very friendly. Even the car drivers were stopping in front of a crosswalk and would let us crossing the streets.

DSC_7649We had a great stay in Lisbon and would recommend the city to everyone, particularly to people who like old cities, oenophiles – wine lover, and fans of the Mediterranean climate.

Some more impressions can be found here.

Good Morning, Vietnam

Good Morning, Vietnam

What a journey. Starting in Hanoi, we made our way through Vietnam, heading south towards Ho Chi Minh City. UNESCO World Heritage sites along the way, astonishing rice paddies, friendly locals, cheap and tasty food, white beaches, tropical heat and one of the most interesting histories of the post world war II time. I was overwhelmed with impressions and a month fly past with a single blink. Our main stations along the way were Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sapa, Ninh Binh, Hue, Hoi An, Mui Ne, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc Island.

DSC_6981Monsuun Season? – No, made a break during our stay.

DSC_6436Road Traffic? – Yes, it’s exactely like everyone tells you.

DSC_6664Landscapes? – Very diverse, very dramatic, very cool.

DCIM102GOPROFun Factor? – I’ll give it 10/10. Yeah, definitely 10.

Whould I do it again? – When does the next plane leave?

You don’t belief me? Than check out the pictures!

Flying visit to Prag

After the tourism experts compulsory week in Berlin at the ITB me and three friends of mine stopped on our way back in Prag. Lovely weather and huge steaks for 8 Euros: Everything the heart desires for a two-day trip in early march! Find a few pictures online here

Blog – Take One

This is to inform the planet about my newest activity – blogging. I’m deeply sorry for all the trash that will be posted within this site in the closer future. However, if you really read this it’s kinda your own fault. So, go ahaid or stay were you are, participate or keep silent, be curious or indifferent – it’s at your own risk.