Social Media and Data Portability

Last summer, I wrote a column calling for greater interoperability among social networking sites, thereby enabling users to better control their personal information.  Developments yesterday marked an important step in that direction.  It started with an exceptionally important guest post by Ottawa's own Alec Saunders on Gigaom.  Alec set out a Privacy Manifesto for the Web 2.0 era that focused on four key principles including full disclosure of data collection purposes, reasonable limits on data collection, full consent on the use of customer information, and secured storage of personal data.  Those principles, which bear a striking resemblance to the principles codified in Canada's national privacy legislation, are neatly applied in the posting to recent Web 2.0 issues.  Within hours, the relevance of the privacy manifesto became apparent as Facebook, Google, and Plaxo all joined, which is promoting greater user control over their personal information. 

One Comment

  1. Adrian Thurston says:

    Interestingly there is no technical need for central repositories of personal information like Facebook. If we want social networking we should do it in a decentralized fashion, allowing those of us that want to control our own internet identities using our own servers to do so. Here’s how this can be done:

    [ link ]

    Centralization is convenient but not necessary.