News: Who owns your social graph — you or Facebook? — Tech News and Analysis

06 July 2011 12:36 PM CDT


Nothing too earth shattering here.  However, the concept of portability in data is of great interest to me.  I find it fascinating that 700 million people have signed up for Facebook and have loaded their system with a tremendous amount of personal information about themselves.  I also find it fascinating that the only entity profiting from this tremendous tide of data is Facebook.  They mine your information and use it to serve personally relevant advertising.  Yes, we as users of Facebook get a phenomenal service from the transaction (membership in the largest social community in the world).  However, I feel like data portability (access to your own information) will become of great interest in the future.  There's a lot of information in Facebook and it could probably be used for more altruistic intents than just advertising.  Imagine mining for health patterns, social patterns, etc.  We've already seen how effective social media can be for a revolution (i.e. Egypt, etc.).  I wonder what people will do with that data in the future.  Well, one thing's for sure, they won't be able to do anything if they can't access it.  Clearly this issue will need to be resolved.