Monday, February 16, 2009

They Don't Own It. You Don't Own It. But Perhaps We Need to Redefine and Standardize It.

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I just finished posting my first post over on the DataPortability Project Blog titled Redefining and Standardizing ‘Ownership’. The DPP Blog has been live since December and the guys have been doing a great job covering things that are important to the Project. Honestly, i haven't had the time in addition to all the other things i have been doing on behalf of the Project to blog, but this afternoon i went ahead (with some encouragement from the chat room) and posted my thoughts on the recent changes that Facebook made to their Terms.

The latest Facebook step (misstep?) occurred last week when they made some changes to their Terms of Service and one of the items of contention by many is the following statement:

“You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content. “

The Consumerist Blog posted on the subject yesterday and today many have been commenting. and facebook themselves have made public comments and started a discussion board to address questions from users.

It is obvious that as a community we need to redefine and standardize the way we define and award rights to ownership of data and this is one of the reasons that i am involved in the DataPortabilty Project [and currently serve as the Chairperson of the Steering Committee]. I realize that it has been common in the world of the internet to let 'Vendors' own what goes into their EULAs and TOCs- but we shouldn't continue to let that be. More thoughts over there.

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