September 11, 2007

Social Media User's Bill of Rights, Take 2

I've been thinking a lot over the past few days about the Social Media User's Bill of Rights I blogged about the other day.

I said then that I quibbled with the "ownership" model for user's data. That maybe it should read "co-ownership."

Well after thinking it through, in different scenarios, and talking with people at the Data Sharing Summit over the weekend, and a couple of our advisors, I've decided that it makes more sense for users to:

1. own their data, solely
2. give a non-exclusive license to sites they "partner" with when they put data at those sites.
3. be able to remove the data, to the extent the site can take it out (backup tapes are problematic)
4. part of the non-exclusive license to the sites needs to include that the sites can distribute the data (RSS feeds, etc) about their activities OR the sites need to have a way for the user to specify the lack of distribution of data or metadata, if the user chooses.

Web20, etc. (I still hate that term but I'm mellowing a bit) won't work unless we do this as a complete package, because users need, if they are using someone else's site, to be able to share data, make it searchable elsewhere, make it reusable and remixable, depending on the data. But they also need to know they have control over it. And sites like Dabble need to architect with this understanding.

For example, if I upload a video to Youtube or Photobucket, I can choose to make the video public, and from there to limit embeds elsewhere. I can remove my video as I please. In addition, I can ask Youtube or Photobucket to remove my account any time I want.

Anyway, I know this is a slight (maybe semantic) shift, but I think it matters, gives users more control, and makes the partnership between users and the sites that host functionality and activities more clear, more accountable, and more fair.

I think it's the right thing to do. And so I'm taking steps to make a slight change to the Dabble Privacy and Data policy to reflect this. It should be there shortly.

Posted by Mary Hodder at September 11, 2007 01:05 PM | TrackBack

I prefer #1 too, Mary. Just because I 'join' a social site and share doesn't mean the site automatically has rights over what I produce.. my profile that describes me, my writings, submissions etc...

Posted by: Angela Chen Shui at September 12, 2007 05:51 AM