Viktor Mayer-Schˆnberger

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger says the ability to forget our past, both on and offline, is an essential part of what makes us human.

“The more I’ve worked on data protection over the past 20 years, the more I’ve realised that at the heart of this, what matters as much as the privacy aspect is the issue of human decision-making,” said Mayer-Schönberger, professor of internet governance at the Oxford Internet Institute. “Humans need to make decisions about the present and the future. The beauty of the human brain is that we forget, which enables us to think in the present. That is necessary to help us make decisions.” […]

“Knowledge is based on forgetting. If we want to abstract things we need to forget the details to be able to see the forest and not the trees. If you have digital memories, you can only see the trees.”