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Archive for the ‘Data Portability’ Category

Data Portability – Data Ownership

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having seen Robert Scoble’s latest post on Facebook’s rant about dataportability problems I thought it might be necessary for me to try and hone my understanding a bit.

I have data on A Social Network (ASN); this might include my name, email address, and a photo of me.

I also show other data on there; the identities of some of my friends, possibly including their contact details. A few RSS streams, some photos of some buddies when we went climbing…

ASN also shows some data about me; my subscriber status, my feedback rate and so on.

Which is mine? Well, my address and email; my assertion about my friends.

Which is my friends? Their email addresses; their photographs possibly .

What belongs to ASN? At a guess, my subscriber status, and possibly the feedback rating that members of the site have co-operated to give me with ASN’s system.

What can I take with me? This is where it gets tricky…

I can/should be able to take my name/identity/email address.

What about my friend’s email address? They might not want me to take it to another site.

What if I can identify them another way? How about their ID? My current OpenID is this blog… If someone wants to assert they are a friend of should that bother me? I freely make my blog available; if I can link to you(your OpenID) – I’m not linking to anything you don’t want used.

Just like with content, if I pass it off as mine, that’s wrong. Linking to things is what holds the internet together – so, I can link to the information that you do make publicly available. That may, or may not, include your email address.

What about those photos my friends took? Well, to be honest, it depends what they want to do with them. Howsabout if I say that I can point a link to them, if publicly available? If the link is on a commercial website, and they don’t want their pictures used there, they can either tell a linker to take them down on a case-by-case basis (unless we believe that most people will ask for permission) – or licence them with Creative Commons.

How will that work with my FOAF? I don’t know – yet – but am starting to play with this.

Would you object to me asserting a relationship to your OpenID? If you did, what do you think I should do, or you could do? Unless you explicitly assert the relationship back, how believable is my claim?

Should a FOAF be CreativeCommons Licenced?

Should I be able to take the ASN data? It depends, is the traditional answer; if they built it, they paid for it, they use it… perhaps I should pay if I want to take it – or maybe I can just point to it, while I reatain a relationship with ASN

Written by SteveEllwood

March 27, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Ownership of Social Networks? or the data we give them?

with 18 comments

Following a couple of interesting tweets on Twitter, I started following Brian Kelly and, as usual had a look to see if his blog was interesting. It is, and I’ve joined in with his Pownce experimenting – you can find me here.

One of his latest posts touched on ownership of social networks asking:

  • Who should own the social networks?
  • Should ownership of social networks be any different from other software services we use in our institutions (including VLEs such as Blackboard, Web 2.0 services such as Flickr or blogging services such as Edublogs Campus)
  • How should a transition to a change of ownership take place?
  • How realistic is the transition strategy?
  • How do you know what this is what the users actually want?
  • How will social networking services be funded under alternative ownership resources? And if the answer is increased taxes, how will you get that past the Daily Mail readership which seem to be influential in informing policy discussions for both the Labour and Conservative parties?

This followed concerns being raised by Frances Bell and Josie Fraser about the ownership of the social networks – particularly Facebook.

As an employee of a *huge* telecom/ICT firm, the idea of any state ownership of social networks seems faintly odd. If we trust private firms to provide the infrastructure that these social networks run over – because, of course, we can always switch to another supplier – why *wouldn’t* you trust private firms to run the social networks?

The social networks – be they Facebook, Orkut, bebo, MySpace or something from ning – are the pipes that we deploy our social graphs across. Pete Johnson gives a good explanation of graph vs. network.

Now, if I can take my graph off that network… [hey, isn’t that beginnning to look like Data Portability – and aren’t Facebook saying they’lll play?] … can I use it somewhere else? Which bits of the data are mine is a different issue.

Well, not yet. But maybe soon. And when that happens, won’t these concerns about who runs the “pipes” be less significant?
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Written by SteveEllwood

January 23, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Trust, OpenID, VRM, Data Portability and how does it hang together?

with 3 comments

… or who am I, anyway? Do *you* trust me?

I’m a moderately keen Facebook user. I have a number of friends, and am in a few groups – although I avoid all zombie battles and the like.

I’m a member of a number of web forums, and a newsgroup user.

I also blog in a couple of places, Twitter, and use some other Web2.0/blogging tools. I use intermittently.

I don’t think any of my online contacts know all the places I am, and I have differing reputations/standing in all of them.

None of the DVD/bookshops I use know enough about me to target me precisely – except Amazon – and while they provided the infrastructure to learn about my *purchases*, I provided large amounts of rating information to them – and told them which of my purchases (for others) not to use for recommendations.

I became interested in VRM following some posts by JP, whose other posts on ownership of information have exercised me a bit.

I’d also heard about a bit about OpenID but thought that would be a bit taxing to understand for a neophyte like me – when I suddenly discovered that I could use this blog as an OpenID… it now makes commenting on other folks blogs a bit easier, and helped sort out my QDOS application [FWIW, I have a shamefully low QDOS of 1100].

Once again, JP in a series of tweets including here, here and here started discussing communal ownership of information and its relation to identity.

I can use my identity here to let me comment on folk’s blogs. I’m an unknown blogger, and so not trusted as an authority.

One of the forums I frequent, I’ve been a member since near inception; I posted a lot; I’ve accrued karma/reputation points; I know some of the moderators; I organised group buys (basically taking on the hassle of ordering scores of items worth hundreds/thousands of dollars for members). I’m *trusted* there.

Now, does my reputation there belong to me, or to the community who accorded me the reputation?

In fact, some of it does seem to belong to me, as I posted on another related forum (to do with bushcraft, if you must know) and I was challenged about something. Another poster (who I didn’t think I knew) said something like “Nah, he’s alright. I know him from x, and he’s been about for years and knows a lot about this.” He “knew” me because he recognised my nickname and location. He used differing nicknames, so I couldn’t have vouched for him. If I’d logged in with my OpenID, it would be more obvious.

I’d like to take my data with me and share it with whom I want. Is Data Portability the answer? Well, yes. For some of it, and seeing @jowyang’s post encourages me to believe there’ll be some movement.

And no, not unless we sort out which data is mine. The karma others gave me in a bushcraft group? My technorati rating (as if!). Even if it was mine, how we going to transfer that?

I’m going to watch the debate with interest – and learn more, I hope.

Written by SteveEllwood

January 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm