'Erase your past' Leak reveals unethical and deceptive methods used by companies claiming to remove digital tattoos

Under the catchphrase 'Erase your past', a company that provides a

digital tattoo deletion service that remains on the Internet is 'Eliminalia'is. The Guardian and The Washington Post report on the company's unethical and deceptive digital tattoo removal methods.

The Spanish firm that uses dubious methods to 'erase your past' from the internet | Spain |

The Gravediggers: How Eliminalia, a Spanish reputation management firm, buries the truth • Forbidden Stories

Story Killers: Eliminalia created fake news, bogus legal complaints - Washington Post

Spyware, fake news and more features in investigation of reputation management firm - The Washington Post

Eliminalia, a Spanish company that claims to remove digital tattoos, said it 'searched the entire internet exhaustively for everything: articles, blogs, social media posts, false identities, etc., and among the information found was 'negative'. We are developing a service called 'Ask the provider to delete the information' on behalf of the customer.

However, according to The Guardian, Eliminalia has used unethical and deceptive methods over the past several years to remove content that is unfavorable to customers from the Internet. Specifically, ``submit a fake copyright infringement claim to a search engine such as Google by impersonating a third party such as a media organization in order to remove specific information,'' or ``post a large number of irrelevant articles. By doing so, articles with disadvantageous information for customers will be buried.”

The reality of Eliminalia's digital tattoo removal service was revealed when the company's 50,000 internal documents were independently obtained by French non-profit organization Forbidden Stories and reported by The Guardian and The Washington Post. I'm here. While most of Eliminalia's customers use the service to erase embarrassing or traumatic events from the internet, criminals such as drug traffickers, scammers, petty offenders and sex offenders also use the service. It seems that I was able to confirm that I was using .

In addition, the Eliminalia website states that the service is mainly developed by making full use of the EU's ' right to be forgotten '.

Founded in 2013 by 30-year-old Diego “Didac” Sanchez, Eliminalia has customers in over 50 countries. Leaked internal documents revealed that over 1,500 individuals and organizations asked the company to delete specific information on the Internet in the seven years from 2015 to 2021. The leaked internal documents include emails with customers, contracts, personal information of customers, fake legal documents, copies of information requested to be deleted, etc., so details of transactions etc. became clear. I'm here.

Customers who have used Eliminalia's services include: 'Swiss bank sued for violating money laundering regulations,' 'person convicted of dozens of crimes,' 'assassin for murdering business associates.' Turkey's biotech tycoon accused of hiring '.

The amount charged by Eliminalia as a service fee is basically several thousand dollars (hundreds of thousands of yen), but some transactions have reached 100,000 euros (about 14 million yen). that's right.

Hernan Gabriel Westman, who has used Eliminalia's service, was indicted by Argentine authorities in 2017 for ``money laundering for a drug cartel.'' The lawsuit against him was dismissed due to lack of evidence, but due to inaccurate reports about him outside Argentina, Westman used Eliminalia's service to remove inappropriate information. I told The Washington Post that I tried to

If you look up Mr. Westman on the Internet, articles such as '

Rules of American football ', ' How to apply philosophy to everyday life ', and ' Chihuahua's innate arrogance ' are displayed before information such as money laundering. It is designed to be Westman was completely unaware of how Eliminalia deleted articles from the internet and was crafted to bury information that was inappropriate for him, The Washington Post reported. increase

The Swedish non-profit Qurium operates 600 web sites that digital tattoo removal services like Eliminalia use to host 'spam articles that are used to obscure unfavorable information for customers.' Identifies the site. In many cases, it seems that articles about dogs, cars and sports are used for spam articles.

The content of spam articles leverages content such as real news articles to increase credibility. These spam sites produce a large amount of content and carefully craft headlines to trick search engine algorithms into displaying spam articles at the top of search results. As a result, the digital tattoo removal service manipulates articles with unfavorable content for customers to be displayed later in the search results.

When The Guardian searched for a criminal who was one of Eliminalia's customers, it seems that crime-related information was not displayed until page 5 of the search results.

It is also clear that Eliminalia abuses the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), an American law aimed at protecting intellectual property.

The DMCA requires search engines to 'provide means for businesses and individuals to remove stolen content.' Therefore, Google urges users who claim copyright infringement to confirm that they understand the penalties of perjury, and if this checkbox is checked, it is possible to file a copyright infringement claim It is However, there seems to be a problem that there is no need to submit evidence for this copyright infringement allegation.

Eliminalia is abusing this and has filed deceptive copyright infringement claims against search engines, including Google. Specifically, it seems that there were cases where Eliminalia pretended to be a copyright infringement claim from a legitimate media company. In one instance, Eliminalia filed a copyright infringement claim by falsely claiming to be a representative of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. In addition, La Repubblica has commented to The Guardian that it has never made such a copyright infringement claim.

In another case, Eliminalia impersonated Bloomberg and petitioned Google to remove a story about money laundering by a Swiss bank, accusing Business Times of plagiarizing our (Bloomberg) news story.

When The Guardian contacted Google about a number of fraudulent deletion requests by Eliminalia, a spokeswoman said, ``Google actively deals with fraudulent deletion requests by combining automated and human review. To maintain our accountability, we provide extensive transparency regarding removals, allowing you to file an appeal for review if you believe content on our site has been removed from search results in error. It seems that there was a reply that

In early 2023, Eliminalia changed its name to 'iData Protection', but with this leak, media around the world have reported on Eliminalia's past deeds, so 'this event is on the Internet. You won't be able to erase it so easily,' points out The Guardian.

in Note, Posted by logu_ii