Reading the great article but Liam Bannon, director of the Interaction Design Centre at the University of Limerick, on forgetting as a feature, not a bug. His central insight is that "human-computer interaction is largely founded on a view that compares the capability of humans and machines," (9) and that in the case of memory that that raises some problems.
[T]he dominant perspective in the human sciences over the past quarter-century has been one that views the human mind as an information-processing device, similar to computing machines. This computer model of mind has blinded us to a number of crucial features of human thinking, most importantly, the active and embodied nature of human thinking and acting in the world. In the context of our discussions on memory, I argue that this approach has over- emphasized a passive rather than an active model of human memory, ignoring the fact that remembering and forgetting are active processes....
[New] technologies are currently being viewed as either substitutes for, or possible augmentations of, human faculties. I argue that the proffered scenarios of computerized ‘help’ for human activities evident in the ubiquitous computing world tends to focus on augmentation of human remembering, with sensors and computer networks archiving vast amounts of data, but neglects to consider what augmentation might mean when it comes to that other human activity, namely, forgetting. (5)
Our models of memory are replete with technical terms such as ‘erasure’, ‘content addressing’, ‘retrieval’, which equate human and computer memory. Yet it has been common knowledge within the human sciences for decades that human memory is not akin to the storage model of computer memory. (5)
[In this model] forgetting is seen as one more example of the fragility of the human mind, where it loses out to computers, with their ability to retain information indefinitely. Forgetting is thus seen as a bug in the human makeup, an aspect of the human memory system that has negative connotations. (6)
There's no computational equivalent of human institutions for forgetting, which is problematic because forgetting is synonymous with forgiveness: as Bannon notes, there are any number of social and legal practices-- "pardon, amnesty, Catholic absolution in confession" (10)-- that officially serve to close off an event in a person's (or a group's) past. Not only is there no similar function with digital technologies, they work against any such ability: it's harder now to expunge criminal records, for example. (Some of the people who are mining public arrest records are awesomely colorful, or shady, characters, depending on your vision.) Bannon does a nice job of helping us become more aware of the stakes in not creating means of digital forgetting, and treating forgetting as a bug rather than a feature.