2008: Whose info is whose?

One of the things we'll all need to sort out on the social Web is what content belongs to who. Is your profile your content or that of the service hosting it? Are your friends' comments in your profile your content, theirs, or the host's? Sound complicated? It is. But it needs to be worked out in order to meet another need people are voicing: "data portability" or social-networking interoperability. "There is a crying need for some open and standardized format to allow social Web users to manage and move their data around," reports a San Jose Mercury News blog. "The data that your 'friends enter about themselves? Well, they've shared it with you, but is it yours to export? And since you've entered into an agreement with Facebook to voluntarily add information to Facebook's database, does the company have some kind of claim as well, (not to mention some obligation to prevent one of your "friends" from exporting your contact information without letting you know)?" These are not just copyright or content-ownership questions, they're privacy ones. Great fuel for family discussions on how information we post can not only get away from us but also may no longer be "our" info.


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