Innovation for farmers: meet Eli Bukchin, CTO and Co-Founder at Taranis

Today's interviewee is Eli Bukchin, CTO and Co-Founder at Taranis, an Israeli company that helps farmers to be more efficient. He talks about Taranis, working in high-tech and being an entrepreneur in Israel. Hope you enjoy the interview!

Eli Bukchin
Eli Bukchin
What is Taranis?

Taranis enables farmers to obtain the information they need for increasing their yields and cutting costs. By monitoring dozens of different parameters in real time, Taranis provides an early warning, so that farmers can spray against fungus or pests in advance to mitigate risks and maximize yield. They know how to use the exact amount of fertilizer, in the right spot. Farmers can also avoid spraying just before rains, which wash off costly materials. The Taranis system is a web dashboard using advance technologies like: proprietary weather forecast model, satellite imagery, weather stations sensors and a mobile app for activity in the field.

Taranis' dashboard

How did everything begin?

Everything started when Ofir and I had an interesting talk. Ofir, who comes from a family of farmers and has extensive R&D management experience, suggested to combine our overall knowledge to help farmers with meteorologically related problems. Soon, we included Ayal and Asaf ( the other co- founders) and started to play around with this idea and to bring it to a working product. Using Ayal’s rich background in product management and data analysis and Asaf’s 20 years of experience in software development and design we started to developed the first version of the product and even managed to start few pilots with several farmers. After we saw that there were positive reactions to the product we formed Taranis as a company. And the rest is history.

What does a day in Taranis look like?

We start our day by eating breakfast (cereals obviously) together. During the day each team member has his responsibilities, with a lot on overlapping topics, this was most team members get to work with one another on different aspect of the product or technology. We have experts in Agronomy, Meteorology, Computer Science, UX and Business development. This way, and in addition to weekly sync meetings, we all keep a concurrent vision of the product Sometimes we go to the field to test our products, meet the farmers and make sure we stay connected with the farmers and have fun!

Taranis' team

Your background is in Physics. How was the transition to the "high-tech" world?

I’ve always been a tech Geek and my formal education is just a small part of my interests, in addition to my studies in the area of Physics, a big portion of my life I spent studying programming and fields of computer sciences. In my opinion, physics was a really important and helpful tool in adjusting to the multi-disciplinary and fast varying aspects of a startup’s technological base and coming up with ad-hoc solutions for scientific and technological challenges. Though, the pace and focuses of a researcher is a bit different than that of a high-tech worker. In the “high-tech” world one focuses more on correctness, preventability and delivery pace instead of focusing on the method and completeness of solutions in the scientific world. Once I found a “sweet spot” between all the different items and managed to adjust to the new demands while not neglecting my scientific practices, the productivity and quality of my work has improved. I believe that the ability to combine and explore the different fields is what makes Taranis a great and unique company.

What are the advantages of starting a company in Israel? And the disadvantages?

Israel has a great startup environment, mainly because many Israelis need to rely on tech skills to earn a living. In Israel there is almost no natural resources or low tech industry. The IDF provides opportunities for technologically oriented people to further their interest and transform them into a profession. The biggest disadvantage is: Israel is a small country and therefore a small potential market. In order to develop your business further and reach big scale costumers, one needs to offer his products in bigger markets overseas like Brazil, USA and China.

Working on Taranis' dashboard in the field

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a CTO?

Taranis is the first company that I am the CTO of and every day has something new I have to solve/manage. That doesn’t mean that I have no advice to give new CTOs. As a founder of a company, my first instinct was to be involved and micro manage every decision regarding the company. I soon realized that this is not productive nor helping the company in any way. I guess, my advice is: to trust your partners to do their job and focus on your responsibility, this is very relevant to small startups. Second, and this is quite obvious, know your field, I advise new CTOs to get to know the field they operate in on a greater scale that the job requires. Many times I have thought of solutions and implemented new methods and technologies that were learnt while reading materials not 100% related to the company’s technological scope. Always be vigilant for scientific and technological breakthroughs and paradigm shifts to keep your technology as up to date as possible.

Daily life at Taranis

What advice would you give to someone who wants to open a startup in Israel?

There are a lot of programs such as accelerators and incubators to help young entrepreneurs to kick start their ideas. Taranis participated in 2 accelerators. First the EISP 8200 accelerator and later at the Microsoft Ventures’ accelerator in Tel Aviv. I recommend a small start up to enlist in any of the accelerator programs.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I see myself still as the CTO of Taranis after expanding its technological scope to nearby fields. Being a CTO is really fun (most of the time ☺).


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Luiza Rezende
High Tech Lawyer, YouTuber and Writer

Venture Capital in Tel Aviv: Meet Michel Abadi, Managing Partner at Maverick Ventures

Todays's interview is with Michel Abadi, Managing partner at Maverick VenturesPrior to joining Maverick at inception, Michel was the Global Head of Product Development at Gems Fund of Funds, which at its peak managed over US$7.5 billion, for over a decade. From 1995 up to 1999, Michel was a portfolio manager for local and off-shore Brazilian hedge funds totaling US$ 1.5 Billion at Banco Patrimonio, a Salomon Brothers joint-venture in Brazil. Michel became Head of Products for the Local Private Bank after its sale to Chase Manhattan Bank, and soon after, J.P. Morgan. In this function Michel was responsible for the designing, structuring and implementation of local fund of hedge funds worth US$ 1 Billion, as well as for an advisory desk for local markets, trading currencies and creating structured trades. Michel holds a Production Engineering degree from the University of Sao Paulo, and a Master of Business Administration conferred jointly by Kellogg School of Management and Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration. Michel is also the Chairman of Aish TLV, which bridges the gap between religious and non-religious young leaders. He is also the Chairman of Beit Brasil, which helps brazilian Olim in their first year in Israel.

Read the interview below; to learn more about Maverick Ventures, click here.

Michel Abadi and Maverick's founder Yaron Carni
Michel Abadi (on the right) and Maverick's founder Yaron Carni in the Western Wall, Jerusalem

What is Maverick's story? How did everything begin?

Maverick started as both myself and Yaron Carni my partner met for the first time in a Torah class in Tel Aviv. We were both at career turning points, and we discovered that we had the same goals and very complementary skills, and then we started to explore the possibility of joining forces to get there. From that point, it took some time to get the strategy right, the economics, and soon we hit the road for the fundraising. It's never easy, but we made it and are now already two years and a half into investing the Fund and with 10 very amazing companies in the portfolio.

What does a day in Maverick look like?

In a typical day, we meet two/three companies pitching their ideas to us, and then we spend one or two hours with some of our portfolio companies helping them either with Strategy, Hiring, Biz Deving or introducing them to potential investors for their next investment round. Lastly, we also spend some time researching themes that are connected to companies that we own or fields that we see ourselves getting involved with.

For you what are the most attractive types of investments? What is Maverick looking for in the moment?

In our business, there is no recipe, as it is not an exact science. It's all about the team, the idea, the click, the incentives, the timing, the sustainable technological edge, the potential market, the creativity, and a lot of pure luck...

What differentiates Israeli entrepreneurs from other entrepreneurs around the world?

I have a theory, not proven yet. I think that the Israelis are, in general, so bad in marketing their company that the good ones compensate that with a lot of creativity and a real strong technology behind the scenes. As such, even with the obstacles that end up existing, the backbone is so great and creates such a demand for the product that in the end they reach the golden path. In other places, as much as I have seen, the emphasis is usually more on the go to market strategy, network effect or business model creativity and less on the tech itself, which comes naturally as in these places the human factor is string exactly in those areas and less on the technical side. As such, since I see these complementary skills, one strategy that we are trying is to take the best of both worlds and combine wisely the good tech backbone from Israel with savvy entrepreneurial business models from abroad. Let's see the results in the coming years... 

In your opinion what is the strongest factor that makes Israel the Startup Nation?

If I had to choose one factor only, I would say that is the experience that these geeks acquire in the tech units in the army. There is no parallel to that in the real world, to be given such huge budgets and responsibility in such a young age and be able to experiment - without failing - fears is something truly outstanding that these youngsters get the opportunity to live through, and it gives them tools and experiences that nobody else has.

What are the advantages of being an investor in Israel? And the disadvantages?

The main advantage is the more realistic valuations that companies usually go for here. The second best advantage is that companies are born already with an international mindset, which facilitates a lot the strategic discussions and developments. There are many others like the strong legal system, the relatively small community that facilitates all the personal checks, and especially that all the eyes in the world in our space are looking into what happens here. The main disadvantages are related to the Israeli physche and infamous business behaviour, which in our case translates in the usual over negotiation of investment rounds and distribution agreements and these sorts of things. But there are ways to overcome that too.

What do you miss most about Brazil?

Mostly the good typical food (pão de queijo, água de côco e requeijão)...rsrs. Seriously, I miss the good friends and the very dynamic financial markets where I was bred. You don't find those almost anywhere else.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I would love to be managing Maverick's 5th VC fund, and hopefully a little bigger than our current fund, but not too much, as I don't want to change the essence of our investment strategy (although I am surely open for innovation!!!).


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Luiza Rezende
High Tech Lawyer, YouTuber and Writer

Innovation in the Tourism Industry: Meet Frédéric Simons, WorldCraze's Co-Founder and CPO

Today I am interviewing Frédéric Simons, WorldCraze's co-founder and CPO:

Master in the art of developing startups, Frédéric runs with perfection all the creation of a company, being it making a business plan, designing the user acquisition or making it grow. He is the co-founder of WorldCraze and also author of "Startup Tools & Tips", a book on entrepreneurship

Frédéric Simons
Frédéric Simons
In the interview Frédéric talks about the creation of WorldCraze, the main challenges and what to expect from the future. Check it out (you can also read the original interview in French in the end of the post). WorldCraze's social links: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn


What is the history of WorldCraze? How did it all start?

We have met in 2010 with Guillaume Cayard in the Young Innovative Company of my computer school Epitech. We quickly hit it off and embarked on our first startup project in 2010; in December 2012 we started developing WorldCraze. I was traveling in the United States and found it disturbing to find different prices for a jeans when compared to France; I thought that there was a niche in the industry. I spoke with Guillaume about the subject and our knowledge from older startups and we thought it was the time to do it!

How would you explain WorldCraze?

WorldCraze connects travellers with people who want to buy products that don't exist in their country or that are cheaper elsewhere. The buyer places an ad on our site, and a traveler brings the product after returning from his trip. The traveler earns a bonus for services rendered to a Crazer. This is based on the principle of sharing economy: we consume less but better!

Why did you choose to invest your time and effort in this market? What is there special about that?

It's a niche sector with not so much competition and it solves a problem we all face. We saw an opportunity to establish ourselves as European leaders in this market and to offer an innovative solution!

What is a day in WorldCraze like? Can you describe?

I like to say that our days are never alike, as any good respectful startup: simple_smile: We rarely have typical days, these being often made unexpected!

Why opening the startup also in Brazil? What are the biggest challenges? And benefits?

Brazil is a growing market! It is ideal for a startup. The biggest challenge remains administrative, what requires an expertise that we don't have, so we have to surround ourselves with the right specialists! The first advantage is financial, Brazil is a country where product import is subjected to very high taxes.

What does a CTO do? And a CPO? For you, what are the biggest challenges of these two positions?

I'm not the CTO anymore, I named Thibault Apourchaux to take over this position. For the post of CPO the greatest challenges are to make decisions on the product every day, never knowing whether I am right or wrong while going to a certain direction.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to open a startup in France? And in Brazil?

France is a great country for all startups that are working on products related to tourism: with over 84 million tourists a year this is the place! Brazil is a paradise for reactive teams like ours! A population three times the population of France, a hard import problem to solve, and an user openness very different from what we know in France.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

We would like to follow the same path of BlaBlaCar and Airbnb: becoming a giant in our industry while rendering service to users around the world always with the objective of building a win-win relationship - where everybody wins!


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Si vous voulez lire la interview en Français, s'il vous plaît voyez ci-dessous.


Luiza Rezende
High Tech Lawyer, YouTuber and Writer


Quelle est l'histoire de WorldCraze? Comment a tout commencé?

Nous nous sommes rencontrés en 2010 avec Guillaume Cayard dans la Jeune Entreprise Innovante de mon école d’informatique l’Epitech. On a vite sympathisé et on s’est lancé dans notre premier projet de startup en 2010 puis dans l’élaboration de WorldCraze en décembre 2012. J’étais en voyage aux Etats-Unis et j’ai trouvé ça aberrant de constater la différence de prix avec la France ne serait-ce que pour un jean. Je me suis dit qu’il y avait une niche dans ce secteur. J’en ai parlé avec Guillaume et avec nos connaissances de nos anciennes startups, nous nous sommes dit que c’était à faire !

Comment expliqueriez-vous WorldCraze à votre grand-mère?

WorldCraze met en relation des voyageurs avec des personnes souhaitant acheter des produits qui n’existent pas dans leurs pays ou qui sont moins cher ailleurs. L’acheteur passe une annonce sur notre site, et un voyageur lui rapporte son produit en rentrant de son voyage. Le voyageur gagne un bonus pour avoir rendu service à un Crazer. Cela repose sur le principe de la sharing economy, nous consommons moins mais mieux !

Pourquoi avez-vous choisi d'investir votre temps et des efforts dans ce marché? Qu'est-ce qu'il y a de spécial sur ça?

Il s’agit la d’un secteur de niche très peux concurrentiel, en plus de résoudre un problème auquel nous sommes tous souvent confrontés. Nous avons donc vu une opportunité de s’implanter comme leader européen sur ce marché, et proposer une solution innovante !

Qu'est-ce qu'un jour de WorldCraze ressemble? Pouvez vous décrire?

J’aime assez dire que nos journées ne se ressemblent jamais, comme toute bonne startup qui se respecte :simple_smile: Nous avons rarement des journées types, celles ci étant souvent composées d’imprévus !

Pourquoi ouvrir la startup aussi au Brésil? Quels sont les plus grands défis? Et les avantages?

Le brésil est un marché en pleine croissance! C’est l’idéal pour une startup. Le plus grand défis reste l’administratif qui requiert une expertise que nous n’avons pas personnellement, nous sommes donc obligés de nous entourer convenablement ! L’avantage premier est bien entendus d’ordre financier, le brésil est un pays ou l’importation de produit est soumis a des taxes très élevés.

Qu'est ce q'un CTO fait? Et un CPO? Pour vous, quels sont les plus grands défis de ces deux positions?

Je ne suis plus CTO, j’ai nommé Thibault Apourchaux pour prendre le relai de ce poste. Concernant le poste de CPO, les plus grands défis sont de prendre des décisions sur le produit au quotidien, sans jamais savoir si j’ai raison ou tord en allant dans cette direction

Quels conseils donneriez-vous à quelqu'un qui veut ouvrir une startup en France? Et au Brésil?

La France est un pays superbe pour toutes les startups qui se lance dans un produit touristique, avec plus de 84 millions de touristes par an c’est l’endroit idéal ! Le Brésil est un eldorado pour des équipes réactives comme la notre ! Une population 3 fois supérieure à la France, un vrai problème d’importation à résoudre et l’ouverture d’esprit des utilisateurs qui est bien différente de ce que l’on connait en France.

Où vous voyez-vous dans 10 ans?

Nous aimerions suivre le même parcours que Blablacar ou Airbnb ! Devenir un géant dans notre secteur tout en rendant service à des utilisateurs du monde entier toujours dans l’optique d’un Win-Win où tout le monde y gagne !

What Does WhatsApp's End-to-End Encryption Mean? Are We Finally Safe?

Two weeks ago I was messaging one of my geeky friends on WhatsApp and saw a strange text notice saying:

"Messages you send to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Tap for more info"

I immediately thought it was something she had created to her own WhatsApp account and I thought:

"What a privacy freak! Was it really necessary to activate this whole encryption thing to our conversation? This is just an informal talk, nobody is sharing anything secret here"

Then I messaged my father - and the same text appeared. I love my father - who is an amazing and very tech savvy doctor - but I know he has no idea of what is an end-to-end encryption and would never add that himself to his WhatsApp. Something had changed in our beloved app. I went then to my digital source of wisdom - TechCrunch - to check what they had to say about this seemingly "privacy apocalypse" that had just fallen upon our digital chat lives.

Right after that I learned in Whatsapp's FAQ page that they had just finished a one and a half year project to set end-to-end encryption as a default mechanism to all the more than 1 billion (1,000,000,000!) WhatsApp users. The only thing all the users would have to do is to update the app to the latest version.

But wait, I am a high tech lawyer: what is - technically speaking - end-to-end encryption and what does it mean - practically (or legally) - speaking? Let's type it on Google and check if one of those geek blogs can explain it to me. They did. This blog, for example, compared the absence of end-to-end encryption as riding a bike naked on a tunnel. Don't miss their explanation, it's a really good metaphor. Let's use a copyright friendly source to explain it in technical terms. Wikipedia (sorry for everyone who is leaving this post at this exact moment because I'm citing this infamous website, but I believe in the power of the crowd) says:

"End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a system of communication where only the people communicating can read the messages. No eavesdropper can access the cryptographic keys needed to decrypt the conversation, including telecom providers, Internet providers and the company that runs the messaging service. Surveillance and tampering are impossible because no third-parties can decipher the data being communicated or stored. For example, companies that use end-to-end encryption can’t hand over texts of their customers’ messages to the authorities"

Good, I got it. WhatsApp also offers a QR code or a list of 60 numbers for those who are suspicious and want to really check if the conversation is encrypted. No, thanks, I believe you! I was already OK knowing that anyone could spy me through the cookies on my browsers, my likes on Facebook, my pictures on Instagram, the geolocalization on my phone, my supermarket loyalty cards and other mechanisms that I probably don't know they exist; if you, my beloved WhatsApp, is telling me that I am fully encrypted, thank you very much, I am even happier now :-)

As I lawyer I had to remember the recent FBI vs Apple case (I wrote a post in Portuguese about it in case you are interested) that was bravely solved with the participation of an Israeli company. In that case, the dilemma was that the FBI wanted to investigate serious crimes further, Apple wanted to be a pro-privacy company. None of them won, none of them lost. Freedom of enterprise showed useful and a private company unblocked the device for the FBI. What about the next cases involving the same dilemma privacy x security?

WhatsApp was developing this encryption system for more or less one year and a half, so we know that they weren't directly influenced by the recent Apple vs FBI big case. But we know they were at least slightly influenced by Edward Snowden, an American computer professional, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and former contractor for the federal government who copied and leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 without prior authorization. Everybody - at least in the tech world - learned about the case. For many Snowden became a symbol of a new resistance movement. This movement could be synthesized by the following statements:

- We don't want to be spied by the government;
- We want to know what information is stored about us;
- "General public security" is not enough to authorize secret and continuous surveillance of citizens;
- We don't want to live in a Big Brother society;
- We like privacy.

Regardless of Snowden's political views (and regardless of what happened to him afterwards) he heated the debate privacy vs security, the same debate that followed in Apple vs FBI case. After Snowden it was clear that privacy became a very important value in the post-internet era.

The fact is that internet of things (or internet of everything/everywhere/everytime) is advancing fast, and if we are excited by innovations such as a self driving car, an intelligent house, a smart city, an online global public health information (including DNAs!), smarter robots, bank systems on the cloud etc, we have to think more often and more deeply about privacy. And not the "old style privacy", where violation of correspondence was maybe easier to stop. Now - in the online world - borders are almost invisible and we don't know exactly what is trespassing and what is friendly interaction.

Raising too high the walls of privacy is also dangerous. Citizens may benefit from not having their innocent romantic conversations spied, but also criminals will benefit from high levels of privacy, anonymity and end-to-end encryption. What are we going to do then? It is not so easy anymore to define when privacy is good and when it's bad. Society is more divided. In 2016 I would tell we still don't know what is better for us. But we know privacy is important.


Going back to the end-to-end encryption and the question I added to the title of this post: are we finally safe? It depends.

From what encryption specialists say, end-to-end encryption is effective and now nobody can spy our communications on WhatsApp, not even the government with a judicial warrant.


Criminals will also have more privacy to act badly and won't need to bother in finding an exclusive encrypting app. They can just use WhatsApp.

What do we prefer? I don't know. But I may confess that I have a slightly pleasant feeling when I read on my WhatsApp chat screen: "messages you send to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Tap for more info". Sounds good.


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Luiza Rezende
High Tech Lawyer, YouTuber and Writer

end-to-end encryption, Whatsapp

Costeja González, Nissim Ourfali and the Streisand effect: opening the way to Privacy by Design

Mr. Mario Costeja González and Nissim Ourfali (represented by his family) are two individuals who were unhappy with the online publicity received by some of their personal information and initiated lawsuits against Google in order to remove it from the search engine and from YouTube, respectively.

The legal grounds of the lawsuits are different and until now, Mr. Costeja has completely won the legal battle and Nissim Ourfali's family has been successful in their appeal to the Brazilian Court ("Tribunal  de Justiça") although it's still possible for Google to appeal to a Superior Court.

Both cases, although seemingly legally successful, brought the Streisand Effect for its authors. For those who are not familiar, this is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It was named after the entertainer Barbra Streisand tried to remove pictures from her residence in Malibu, California, from the website The photographer Kenneth Adelman wanted to photograph the coastal erosion as part of his California Coastal Records Project, and ended up  also photographing the entertainer's house. Before the lawsuit the picture of the house had been downloaded only six times (two of them by Streisand's lawyers); after the public knowledge of the case in the following month more than 420,000 people visited the website. Streisand lost the case.

From these two cases, both dealing with a request for censorship of private information legally available online and suing Google, the Streisand Effect was almost a natural consequence. In the next lines my plan is to comment the two cases and analyse what we have learned from them.

The "Costeja" case

In 2009 Mr. Costeja noticed that when he typed his name on Google's search engine, one of the first results was the announcement, in the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, in 1998, of a forced sale of his property because of social debts. Mr. Costeja then contacted the newspaper to complain, saying that the sale had been concluded many years before and that it was no longer relevant. The newspaper responded that the removal was not possible because the publication had been requested by the Spanish Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Mr. Costeja then contacted Google Spain in 2010 requiring that the links to the newspaper publication be removed from the search engine. Google appealed, bringing privacy and data protection arguments, but the final ruling was that "an Internet search engine operator is responsible for the processing that it carries out of personal data which appear on web pages published by third parties, upholding a right of erasure". Regarding the "right to be forgotten", the Court held that upon request, data which is "inadequate, irrelevant or excessive" must be erased, and that it is not necessary that the information is prejudicial to the data subject.

The case brought a strong repercussion and after that, Google issued a form to be filled by everyone who "wanted to be forgotten" (only applicable to certain countries) and in the first day received more than 12,000 submissions.

Regarding the Streisand effect, Mr. Costeja today is worldly known among tech lawyers and privacy professionals as the man from the "Costeja case", which had a publication about the forced sale of his property erased from Google. Moreover, although the original publication regarding the forced sale is not available on the search engine anymore, we still can find the original publication on La Vanguardia's website and we also know its content from many alternative sources. We don't know if he wanted it or not, but he is now much more famous than before the lawsuit, having and average of 800 monthly searches looking for his full name on Google.

The "Nissim Ourfali" case

Nissim Ourfali is a Brazilian boy who made with his family a video for his Bar Mitzvah. His parents set the video public on YouTube so that all the family could see it and after one week it had already gone viral, with more than 1 million views.

The family removed the video from YouTube, but many copies had already been made (today the search for "Nissim Ourfali" on YouTube shows 7,910 results).

In 2012 the family sued Google, asking the company to remove all copies of the video available online. The company defended itself saying that it could only remove if the author specified the URLs that should be removed. In 2014 came the first instance decision in favor of Google, saying that it would be impossible to find and remove all the copies of the video available on YouTube and that the father should have posted the video on YouTube in "private" mode.

Nissim's family appealed and in March 15th 2016, less than two weeks ago, the Court reverted the initial decision saying that Google has to remove all copies of the video, even if the authors don't specify previously the URLs.

After being notified of this decision, Google stated publicly that it will appeal. For the company, the Court didn't observe de precedent set by a hierarchically superior Court (STJ) on the subject, as well as the "Marco Civil da Internet" (a Brazilian law governing the internet) both which determine the party has to previously specify the URLs that they want to have removed. Moreover many of the videos can't be removed because they are parodies and in this case, according to article 47 of Brazilian Copyright Law, they might be considered new original works thus deserving copyright protection.

In the Nissim Ourfali case we can also observe the Streisand Effect: every time any news about the family's lawsuit against Google comes up, more people are interested in the video, more people talk about it and more versions and parodies of it are uploaded on YouTube. Before it was a popular video only in Brazil and now, the more the lawsuit lasts and the parties continue appealing, the "Nissim Ourfali" case is spreading and becoming news worldwide, resulting in more people curious to see the video. And that certainly wasn't the initial plan of the authors of the lawsuit.


Nowadays we are still figuring out how legal provisions such as "right to be forgotten" will work out, which precedents will be set and also how do we want "censorship" or "legal removal" provisions to be (and how to balance right to privacy and right to information).

Surprisingly (or not), it seems that at this moment the private sector has more control of what is and what isn't censored than the government and law makers:

a) It's Google (and other search engines) who defines what claims for removal are accepted or not; if the person is unsatisfied there is always the Judiciary, but not everyone is able to afford it;

b) It's Google (and other search engines) who defines the search engine's algorithm (what could materially alter which websites are showed in the first pages and which ones are showed after the 2nd page - what would be almost like not being showed at all);

c) It's Facebook (and other social networks) who define what images, communities, pages, profiles, groups, links and texts are censored, according to their community guidelines (again, there is the option of accessing the Judiciary, but not everyone will have material access to it);

For any claims, in the case of violation of rights, there will be the possibility of accessing the Judiciary, but it's costly, complex and it takes time, so we might say that for many people it will not be a viable choice.

"Costeja" and "Nissim Ourfali" cases are examples of how the private sector is having more control over what can and can't be done online than the government itself: courts have ordered Google to remove the original content from the search engine; nevertheless, courts can't order that people, exercising their right of free speech and right of information, stop talking or posting about it, as I am doing here. The only ones that technically could impose an "absolute censorship" are the companies that provide the technology, but if we still want to live in a democracy and in a free market, they can't and won't do it (and we are glad for it).

This is only the beginning of a long debate over right to information and right to privacy. The more technology evolves, the more companies know about its customers and also, in many cases, the more customers know about other customers. This has also enabled that many products that we use frenetically today, such as our email or our social networks, can be free. We exchange the right to use them for our personal information, and we got addicted to sharing information.

We can always say that whenever the publicity of an information generates infringement of a right, it's not fair that this information remains public. But Law is not Mathematics and there is not a perfect coefficient to find whether there was a real infringement or if it's an abuse from the author of the claim. It's an issue of establishing legal thresholds, therefore it's an issue of politics: what do we want the threshold to be? What do we want the internet's legal framework to be?

I personally think that the guidelines Google has been using to deal with claims under "right to be forgotten" are reasonable and can serve as a model to further regulation. It's a good example of  the private sector adequately collaborating with the government and law makers. Much still need to be discussed and in the "Information Technology era" every technology company should be involved in the debate "right to privacy vs right to information".

Meanwhile, people should know that it's technically impossible to eliminate completely any information from the internet, mainly after it became popular in the "real world". If people want to talk about it, they will find a way. You can obtain one thousand court orders to remove the content from one thousand websites, but if people are still interested in the information, they won't stop uploading and posting about it. It's possible to remove the original content and it's copies from big websites - what can be already very effective in protecting someone's privacy - but eliminating the information forever is unfeasible - nobody can (and absolutely shouldn't) censor all internet users in the world.

The internet has technical specificities that should be learned by everyone since childhood. The more we learn how it works, the less we have our rights infringed online. The government and private companies should work on teaching people about risks and dangers of online activities and focus on developing softwares and hardwares that are designed with privacy concerns on it. This is called "privacy by design".

Let me finish with a metaphor. The internet is like a swimming pool with infinite bottom: we had to learn how to swim before jumping in alone and without floats, otherwise we could have drowned. Meanwhile, swimming pool manufacturers learned that they needed to enhance the product, designing stairs, handrails and shallow areas so that those still learning how to swim could also enjoy without drowning. Internet users need to learn how to swim; government and private companies must work together to provide stairs, handrails and shallow areas.


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Luiza Rezende
Tech Lawyer, YouTuber and Writer

technology, privacy ,right to be forgotten