Bill of Rights for participants on the social Web

Continuing on the theme of today is social networking day here’s a Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web.

Marc Canter and Joseph Smarr (Joseph is the head tech guy at social networking company Plaxo and Marc is the founder of social networking company Broadband Mechanics) deserves most of the credit for making this happen. He first shared it with me this weekend and I immediately signed on.

The real problem? Most people just don’t care about this. I know I haven’t in the past. Do you?

Here’s the key parts:

1. Ownership of our own personal information.
2. Control of whether and how such personal information is used.
3. Freedom to grant persistent access to our personal info.

Here’s Joseph’s post on the Bill of Rights.

Please add your comment/support/disagreement at opensocialweb.org.

51 thoughts on “Bill of Rights for participants on the social Web

  1. Bugs in Akismet (I am sure my pingbacks are being blocked) and Techmeme (they might have banned me for some silly reason) really do disrupt conversation when people rely on them.

    Anyway a few hours ago I did link through to here, the bill of rights and the Facebook announcement on search (which is really insignificant compared to the data you can already extract and not block)

  2. Bugs in Akismet (I am sure my pingbacks are being blocked) and Techmeme (they might have banned me for some silly reason) really do disrupt conversation when people rely on them.

    Anyway a few hours ago I did link through to here, the bill of rights and the Facebook announcement on search (which is really insignificant compared to the data you can already extract and not block)

  3. Bugs in Akismet (I am sure my pingbacks are being blocked) and Techmeme (they might have banned me for some silly reason) really do disrupt conversation when people rely on them.

    Anyway a few hours ago I did link through to here, the bill of rights and the Facebook announcement on search (which is really insignificant compared to the data you can already extract and not block)

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  5. People won’t care about this issue until it starts to affect them one way or another – too much information open to everyone, or too little. Then there will be a clash of privacy advocates vs. open advocates.

  6. People won’t care about this issue until it starts to affect them one way or another – too much information open to everyone, or too little. Then there will be a clash of privacy advocates vs. open advocates.

  7. People won’t care about this issue until it starts to affect them one way or another – too much information open to everyone, or too little. Then there will be a clash of privacy advocates vs. open advocates.

  8. Bring on the bill of rights, bring on content owner rights, help move technologies like openID forward.

    Rights, Security, Respect, Ownership, all these things a social network must offer…

    I still feel an increasing important part of this is controlling/respecting user created or community created content, as it’s the content that makes your site valuable, and in a social network, your content is your community…

  9. Bring on the bill of rights, bring on content owner rights, help move technologies like openID forward.

    Rights, Security, Respect, Ownership, all these things a social network must offer…

    I still feel an increasing important part of this is controlling/respecting user created or community created content, as it’s the content that makes your site valuable, and in a social network, your content is your community…

  10. Bring on the bill of rights, bring on content owner rights, help move technologies like openID forward.

    Rights, Security, Respect, Ownership, all these things a social network must offer…

    I still feel an increasing important part of this is controlling/respecting user created or community created content, as it’s the content that makes your site valuable, and in a social network, your content is your community…

  11. Robert: It’s not that I don’t care about these issues, just that they fall so low on my list of really important issues to care about. Rebuilding New Orleans (not just the tourist downtown but building homes for those who lived in the low lying low income areas), reversing the growth of poverty in the US (and worldwide), reversing the downward spiral of poor education, crime, homelessness, … It all makes who owns this comment and any other comment I make on the social web a trivial detail I’m afraid.

  12. Robert: It’s not that I don’t care about these issues, just that they fall so low on my list of really important issues to care about. Rebuilding New Orleans (not just the tourist downtown but building homes for those who lived in the low lying low income areas), reversing the growth of poverty in the US (and worldwide), reversing the downward spiral of poor education, crime, homelessness, … It all makes who owns this comment and any other comment I make on the social web a trivial detail I’m afraid.

  13. Robert: It’s not that I don’t care about these issues, just that they fall so low on my list of really important issues to care about. Rebuilding New Orleans (not just the tourist downtown but building homes for those who lived in the low lying low income areas), reversing the growth of poverty in the US (and worldwide), reversing the downward spiral of poor education, crime, homelessness, … It all makes who owns this comment and any other comment I make on the social web a trivial detail I’m afraid.

  14. Freedom to grant persistent access to our personal info.
    Where’s the corollary about stopping this access when you want to?
    Persistent. Never ceasing, or just carrying on till you say “I want this to stop”.
    Nothing about stopping access, and whether the information gathered has to be returned to the user (deleting all information, not archiving this).

    It’s a big loophole. You leave the service, we still have your information. Can the third parties keep the info you have passed them whilst you were a member>

  15. Freedom to grant persistent access to our personal info.
    Where’s the corollary about stopping this access when you want to?
    Persistent. Never ceasing, or just carrying on till you say “I want this to stop”.
    Nothing about stopping access, and whether the information gathered has to be returned to the user (deleting all information, not archiving this).

    It’s a big loophole. You leave the service, we still have your information. Can the third parties keep the info you have passed them whilst you were a member>

  16. Freedom to grant persistent access to our personal info.
    Where’s the corollary about stopping this access when you want to?
    Persistent. Never ceasing, or just carrying on till you say “I want this to stop”.
    Nothing about stopping access, and whether the information gathered has to be returned to the user (deleting all information, not archiving this).

    It’s a big loophole. You leave the service, we still have your information. Can the third parties keep the info you have passed them whilst you were a member>

  17. Robert, you are wrong

    RSS had support for control of information before our heated debate last November, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time….

    What is more, Facebook uses that control actively and is was proposed by Bloglines last August (that is how I found out about it after you and others enticed me to Facebook)

    Feedburner (a Google service) doesn’t support it, though they do allow for blocking of reuse on pipes, a Yahoo service.

    Bloglines also prevents sharing of data that requires RSS authentication, which Google doesn’t even support.

    Just to be perfectly clear, I actually publish all my content under GPL, I want it to be shared, reused etc, and that is much more open than any creative commons license, though not quite public domain.

  18. Robert, you are wrong

    RSS had support for control of information before our heated debate last November, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time….

    What is more, Facebook uses that control actively and is was proposed by Bloglines last August (that is how I found out about it after you and others enticed me to Facebook)

    Feedburner (a Google service) doesn’t support it, though they do allow for blocking of reuse on pipes, a Yahoo service.

    Bloglines also prevents sharing of data that requires RSS authentication, which Google doesn’t even support.

    Just to be perfectly clear, I actually publish all my content under GPL, I want it to be shared, reused etc, and that is much more open than any creative commons license, though not quite public domain.

  19. Robert, you are wrong

    RSS had support for control of information before our heated debate last November, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time….

    What is more, Facebook uses that control actively and is was proposed by Bloglines last August (that is how I found out about it after you and others enticed me to Facebook)

    Feedburner (a Google service) doesn’t support it, though they do allow for blocking of reuse on pipes, a Yahoo service.

    Bloglines also prevents sharing of data that requires RSS authentication, which Google doesn’t even support.

    Just to be perfectly clear, I actually publish all my content under GPL, I want it to be shared, reused etc, and that is much more open than any creative commons license, though not quite public domain.

  20. You do have a point. There should be a system where you can tell Facebook what your reuse wishes are and have them complied with.

    UPDATE: Just to be clear, though. If someone doesn’t want to have their stuff on my link blog I’ll take them off and stop doing it. So, there’s control there.

    My link blog reuses stuff from around the Web here: http://www.google.com/reader/shared/14480565058256660224

    The problem is when you take your stuff into the public web: there you need to rely on RSS and not some internal API. RSS does not have support for private or authenticated feeds, nor does it have some way of forcing copyrights or other content use restrictions.

    Nor should it. That would remove a lot about what’s cool about the current content Web that we’re all sharing in as bloggers.

  21. You do have a point. There should be a system where you can tell Facebook what your reuse wishes are and have them complied with.

    UPDATE: Just to be clear, though. If someone doesn’t want to have their stuff on my link blog I’ll take them off and stop doing it. So, there’s control there.

    My link blog reuses stuff from around the Web here: http://www.google.com/reader/shared/14480565058256660224

    The problem is when you take your stuff into the public web: there you need to rely on RSS and not some internal API. RSS does not have support for private or authenticated feeds, nor does it have some way of forcing copyrights or other content use restrictions.

    Nor should it. That would remove a lot about what’s cool about the current content Web that we’re all sharing in as bloggers.

  22. You do have a point. There should be a system where you can tell Facebook what your reuse wishes are and have them complied with.

    UPDATE: Just to be clear, though. If someone doesn’t want to have their stuff on my link blog I’ll take them off and stop doing it. So, there’s control there.

    My link blog reuses stuff from around the Web here: http://www.google.com/reader/shared/14480565058256660224

    The problem is when you take your stuff into the public web: there you need to rely on RSS and not some internal API. RSS does not have support for private or authenticated feeds, nor does it have some way of forcing copyrights or other content use restrictions.

    Nor should it. That would remove a lot about what’s cool about the current content Web that we’re all sharing in as bloggers.

  23. I did not care myself. At the end I have nothing to hide, even more true when I am working online. Then I detected that on Google Docs, even when I delete documents, they are only hidden in the UI. Deleted documents continue to exist (proof here: http://www.line-of-reasoning.com/issues/privacy-issue-google-docs-seems-to-not-delete-but-only-hide-documents-when-the-trash-is-emptied/ ). Now that could mean that any of my mails that I never sent (because I changed my mind after writing) and also deleted from Gmail maybe still is existing and those zombi mails could for whatever reason suddenly pop up somewhere (and Gmail even saves automatically drafts for you!).

    I think it is our responsibility as users to put pressure on the service providers to find a solution. Why not create an independent organization that will check architecture/software and will do regular inspections of service providers? They could get in return a label for their homepage “your rights respected”. This would give us users the opportunity to make up our mind and choose wisely what services we would use (and make through our usage big and important).

    Robert you have the visibility required for that, why not do something of true importance for all humans and democracy?

  24. I did not care myself. At the end I have nothing to hide, even more true when I am working online. Then I detected that on Google Docs, even when I delete documents, they are only hidden in the UI. Deleted documents continue to exist (proof here: http://www.line-of-reasoning.com/issues/privacy-issue-google-docs-seems-to-not-delete-but-only-hide-documents-when-the-trash-is-emptied/ ). Now that could mean that any of my mails that I never sent (because I changed my mind after writing) and also deleted from Gmail maybe still is existing and those zombi mails could for whatever reason suddenly pop up somewhere (and Gmail even saves automatically drafts for you!).

    I think it is our responsibility as users to put pressure on the service providers to find a solution. Why not create an independent organization that will check architecture/software and will do regular inspections of service providers? They could get in return a label for their homepage “your rights respected”. This would give us users the opportunity to make up our mind and choose wisely what services we would use (and make through our usage big and important).

    Robert you have the visibility required for that, why not do something of true importance for all humans and democracy?

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