A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web

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There has been a discussion going for quite awhile about the way many social networks try to lock in their users by trapping their data.

So here comes a neat manifesto: Joseph Smarr, Marc Canter, Robert Scoble, and Michael Arrington drafted a Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web.

We publicly assert that all users of the social web are entitled to certain fundamental rights, specifically:
  • Ownership of their own personal information, including:
    • their own profile data
    • the list of people they are connected to
    • the activity stream of content they create;
  • Control of whether and how such personal information is shared with others; and
  • Freedom to grant persistent access to their personal information to trusted external sites.

(Read the whole bill for more concrete features that sites should offer to adhere to this Bill of Rights.)

This is a great and much-needed manifesto, and carefully worded too.

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