UK legislators proposed a bill this week that would grant Facebook users broad control over their own privacy and data. If passed, the legislation would require social media platforms to remove posts from a user’s childhood if the user requested it. It would also allow a user to ask for all posts to be removed, in certain circumstances.
The proposed law, called the Data Protection Bill, would give UK Facebook users a so-called “right to be forgotten.” In other words, people could obtain the right to stop large Internet companies from hanging on to their personal info forever. Privacy advocates are praising the bill as a big step forward for users’ digital rights.
“It will strengthen everyone’s ability to control what data can be collected about them and how it can be used,” Javier Ruiz, the policy director at Open Rights Group, told New Scientist. “It is almost impossible for average person to be able to know which organizations hold their personal data. Enabling privacy groups to take independent action will ensure consumers’ rights are properly enforced.”
Of course, this legislation would only be in effect in the UK, and something like it would be far more difficult to pass in the States. However, it’s encouraging that some governing bodies are willing to stand up for our online privacy.