The right be forgotten roadshow – and the power of Google.


Paul Bernal's Blog

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 20.39.49I read with interest Professor Luciano Floridi’s report from the first two legs of what the Guardian described as ‘Google’s privacy ethics tour of Europe’. Floridi is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the Oxford Internet Institute, and one of the experts appointed by Google to its ‘Advisory Council’ on the right to be forgotten.

As would be expected from such an expert, it is a well crafted report and explains very well some of the key ethical questions being addressed through this public consultation. As Floridi puts it:

“The two words most frequently used by all participants in the meetings were “complex” and “balance”, and they describe the situation well. The debate is complex because there are many elements interacting with each other.

The actual ruling, with its pro and contra, including its inconsistency with the advocate-general’s opinion; the role of search engines as intermediaries or data controllers…

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What Would House of Commons Look Like #JC4PM If Reflecting Make Up of UK Workforce by Industry?


Just a bit of fun, just a bit of fun, as Peter Snow used to say at election time.  I am using March 2014 (workforce jobs by industry (SIC 2007) and sex – unadjusted) UK figures and a House of Commons of 650 Members:

Total number in work: 32,992,000 (650 MPs)

Total number of males in full time work: 14,223,000 (280 MPs)
Total number of females in full time work: 7,957,000 (158 MPs)

Total number of males in part time work: 3,113,000 (61 MPs)
Total number of females in part time work: 7,699,000 (151 MPs)

We have heard a lot lately of the House of Commons not reflecting the make up of the workforce of the UK, well this is how it would look if that were that not the case:

A : Agriculture, forestry and fishing: 1.4% or 9 MPs.
B : Mining and quarrying: 0.2% or 1 MP.
C : Manufacturing: 7.8% or 51 MPs.
D : Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply: 0.4% or 3 MPs.
E : Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities: 0.6% or 4 MPs.
F : Construction: 6.4% or 42 MPs.
G : Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles: 14.7% or 96 MPs.
H : Transportation and storage: 4.6% or 30 MPs.
I : Accommodation and food service activities: 6.1% or 40 MPs.
J : Information and communication: 3.9% or 25 MPs.
K : Financial and insurance activities: 3.4% or 22 MPs.
L : Real estate activities: 1.8% or 12 MPs.
M : Professional, scientific and technical activities: 8.4% or 55 MPs.
N : Administrative and support service activities: 8.3% or 54 MPs.
O : Public administration and defence; compulsory social security: 4.7% or 31 MPs.
P : Education: 8.8% or 57 MPs.
Q : Human health and social work activities: 12.9% or 84 MPs.
R : Arts, entertainment and recreation: 2.9% or 19 MPs.
S : Other service activities: 2.5% or 16 MPs.
T : Activities of households as employers;undifferentiated goods-and services-producing activities of households for own use: 0.3% or 2 MPs.

Food for thought, eh?  Particularly, because I have yet to hear many of the Commentariat talking about cleaners, social workers, local government officers, civil servants, scientists, nurses, teachers et al taking their rightful place in the House of Commons.

Yes, those who have worked in manufacturing are under-represented, but these figures are by industry so there would be clerical workers amongst the 51.  And the military?  Well, given the number of those with a military background even in today’s House of Commons then one may well claim they are over-represented.  They would only earn, under this method of calculation, 4 MPs.  I challenged a (ex army) ukipper a while ago on Twitter about his assertion that, having been in uniform then his views should carry more weight than most of the rest of the electorate.  He snapped back, what are you, a shelf stacker?  Well, I have news for him, the shelf stackers have it!

DWP Figures Reveal Shocking Delays In Sickness Benefit Decisions



The DWP, which under this government has a long history of lies about benefit claimants and disabled people, has published figures which reveal its own absolute inability to handle – or be honest about – disability benefit claims.

Please read this vital Vox Political article, which also draws on information published on the SKWAWKBOX.

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Objections to the Job Guarantee



On Thursday I went to Sheffield to watch an excellent lecture on the Job Guarantee by economist L Randall Wray. It was a good chance to meet some Twitter friends in person for the first time and also to see in the flesh someone whose work I’ve been following for the last three years and whose ideas I’ve blogging about for the last two. Wray was talking about the key policy proposal of Modern Monetary Theory – the Job Guarantee. The Labour Party are proposing something called a Job Guarantee, but isn’t really worthy of the name, so I was interested in what the other people at the lecture thought of the idea when fully fleshed out. The people there were probably already pretty sympathetic to the idea, and most did seem positive, asking what other economists thought of it and whether businesses would object. I also wanted to…

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