Researcher: Social networks shouldn't reuse private info
IDG News Service - While social networking services may legally own customer-generated data generated on their sites, they still should not reuse that material outside the context in which it was created, contended a Microsoft researcher who studies social networks.
Willfully failing to respect the context of how that data was created may only lead to increased regulatory oversight in the future, warned Danah Boyd, in a series of talks given at the WWW 2010 conference, being held this week in Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as in a follow-up interview with IDG News Service.
"When the law comes down, it is usually not pretty," she said.
Boyd's idea of context may seem abstract, but it is a vital one to understand how the social rules of privacy should be applied to the online world. In the interview with IDG, she explained the concept further.
People use public social network services to share personal information about their lives with their friends. Yet, we have not yet set the boundaries for the appropriateness of reusing data online, she said. Nor do social networking sites, which Boyd calls data aggregators, fully understand the boundaries either.
In real life, person-to-person interactions are sharply defined, and we when know these boundaries have been crossed. Someone conversing with his or her partner about some sensitive matter would feel slighted if the partner were to go to work and repeat the conversation to coworkers.
Online, matters are fuzzier. "It's a tricky thing because marketers want to look in on us," she said.
For data aggregators, user data is valuable as a marketing tool. Facebook, for instance, will reuse personal information in conjunction with ads. "If you connect with your favorite band's page, we may display your name and profile photo next to an advertisement for that page that is displayed to your friends," Facebook's privacy page states.
Such marketing efforts of social networking sites can unwittingly cross social boundaries, and social networking users feel slighted.
"You're out joking around with friends and all of a sudden you're being used to advertise something that had nothing to do with what you were joking about with your friends," Boyd said. People don't hold conversations on Facebook for marketing purposes, she said, so it would be incorrect for marketing efforts to capitalize on these conversations.
"We're going to have to ask what is acceptable and what isn't, and we haven't really worked out those issues yet," she said.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
This state transportation department uses computer science students from a local university as programming interns, and everyone is happy with the arrangement -- until one intern learns how to bring down the mainframe.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits
- This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage
- Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About
- As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance
- If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big... All Government IT White Papers
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control.
Enhance Your Virtualization Infrastructure With IBM and Vmware
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Virtualization technology is now expanding beyond the server compute elements to encompass networking and storage...
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- All Government IT Webcasts