Data Portability – a Move Towards Making Your Personal and Private Data Work With All Social Networking Sites
0 (0)

The Internet Patrol - Patrolling the Internet for You
Rate this post!
 

The rise in social networking has created an information management and overload problem for many users known as the “Data Portability” problem. Now a new DataPortability project is aiming to address data portability. The problem starts with authentication, includes having data (profile data, media or otherwise) in several different sites and in different versions, and is compounded by the fortress mentality of many social networking sites. These factors make it difficult for users to manage their online identity and control who sees, at what level of granularity, their personal data.

If the DataPortability project successfully negotiates a path through the seemingly conflicting demands of users and site owners, users will be able to:


  • use usernames, passwords, and other identifiers across different social networking sites,
  • choose the information shared, and with whom,
  • aggregate content across sites,
  • move, modify, and share data across sites as desired.

(But what about privacy concerns?)

We can hear some of you saying “Hey, how about these online addicts just not sign up for so many social networking sites?” Never gonna happen.

So, these objectives seem all well and good, but how will they actually make life easier for the multiply networked user? Let’s say you have a large collection of photos stored, with tags and other meta data, on one of the popular photo sharing sites; we’ll call this site A. A new site, site B, is launched, offering a superior editing capability that you’d like to use. With data portability you could have an account on each site, with a common ID and password, and you could either pull your content to be stored on site B, or develop a workflow that pulled content across to pass through the editor on site B before storing the edited photo back on site A. All without having to constantly re-supply login details. A second example would be to seamlessly autocomplete profile data as you signed up for a new site, keeping all profiles up-to-date. (But what about privacy concerns?)

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

 

There’s been some movement recently at popular social networking sites. MySpace announced the Data Availability Initiative, along with Yahoo, EBay, Photobucket, and Twitter. Shortly afterwards, Facebook announced their Facebook Connect, an extension of their existing APIs to permit 3rd parties to connect and access user data.

Which leads to the dark side of data portability, which nobody seems to be addressing. What about those privacy concerns? The easier it is for users to port their data – the easier it is for the sites to port – and export – for profit – their users’ data in a usable format.

Make no mistake about it – selling user data is a huge business and profit center for these sites, second only (or maybe even eclipsing) selling their users’ eyeballs to advertisers. (What, you think these sites aren’t in business to make money? Oh, my dear Pollyanna, let’s talk about a bridge I’d like to sell you.)

 

How much do you think MySpace would pay to have the collected data of all of Facebook’s users?

Now, how much do you think MySpace would pay to have the collected data of all of Facebook’s users if it were already in a format compatible with MySpace’s own data format?

Or some new upstart social networking site, MySpaceBook.com?

“Hey, Joe User, come activate your MySpaceBook.com account – we’ve already got it all set up for you, with all of your data already imported – you don’t have to do anything but come sign in!”

So while these are promising developments for end users, it needs work, as does the set of standards to be proposed by the DataPortability project. When the open standards are agreed, and sites develop to them, a true bidirectional interoperability of data, content and status will be possible – hopefully with stringent rules and controls in place to also protect, as well as to port, user data. This will both empower users and enable a whole new class of applications and opportunities.

This week is an important one for data portability, in which the ball should be moved forward considerably, as the Internet Identity Workshop is to be held May 12-14, and will be immediately followed by the Data Sharing Summit on May 15. Both events take place at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

Rate this post!
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.