Whose Data Is It, Anyway?
turbotodd 100000388Y Visits (1974)
Perhaps they might have picked somebody else with a little lower profile to go and shut down?
Turns out for the good, methinks, as it led to an interesting dialogue about who owns all that data floating around out there: the Internet entities or the yous and mes of the world.
I suppose it was inevitable such a discussion must emerge, and preferably sooner rather than later.
These NetCos are making millions of ad dollars off of yours and my information, leveraging our personal information to serve more targeted ads and hopefully, in the process, helping create a more efficient market between consumer and commercial enterprise.
I'm all for it. The more I watch Facebook blossom, and the more people I find on it, the more useful I think it is...and the more concerned I get about our individual and collective privacy.
Whose data is it, anyway, you ask?
I would argue at the end of the day that it's my data, and that I'm putting it on loan to these sites because it's a fair exchange for mutually beneficial value.
But as Nick Carr observes, none of us is in this alone: "...if you happen to be one of those 'friends,' would you think of your name, email address, and birthday as being 'Scoble's data' or as being 'my data.'"
Whose data, indeed? Calgon, take me away...and take my PII with you and put it someplace safe.
So I input my data into your engine -- and share my friends' data as well so that I can stay in better touch with my far-flung friends and colleagues -- and in return I allow the Facebooks of the world to make a little money by having access to that information to provide more targeted marketing.
But by putting a governor on the data export valve, Facebook (and others) seem to be saying they don't trust folks enough to intelligently handle their own information, even as I and others have spent hours inputting said information for the express purpose of facilitating that mutually benefical value exchange (and making them loads o' money in the process).
While I agree with Carr that Facebook has the responsibility to protect our information, Facebook (and others) should focus more on allowing portability of the most basic information (names, email addresses) so that I don't have to enter this information over and over and over and over again.
If they don't, I figure somebody else will.