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Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights: Yay or Nay?

Rights are drafted and are awaiting approval

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[ Technology]

With all the privacy concerns over the last year, it is not really surprising that Social Networking User Bill of Rights have been proposed. Although the idea of this type of Bill of Rights has been around for some time, no idea has ever had the power to stick.

Do you like the idea of a social networking user bill of rights? Tell us why or why not.

A group of people representing various constituencies began to pen the Bill of Rights at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference last year. Christina Gagnier, Partner with Gagnier Margossian LLP, is among the advocates of the proposal and said that they thought the rights would be an effective way to communicate the message since Americans are accustomed their own federal Bill of Rights.

The rights cover areas such as the amount of information that can be collected and shared with others, the act of deleting or modifying data without policy, data portability, and other challenging issues in the online social space. Another part of the debate around the Bill of Rights is whether or not it should be a government mandate.

Although some people believe that the government would better enforce it, others believe that it would only lead to more regulation, which is the same reaction that some people had regarding the “Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011.”

Privacy is tricky because many privacy laws in place today are specific to individual industries, such as HIPAA for the health industry. The online sector is especially difficult because it would be hard to determine whom the legislation directly impacts. For example, would it strictly be for social networks, or would corporations be included as well?

At this point, there are 14 Social Networking User Bill of Rights. Users can visit its site and vote in favor of them or against them. Additionally, they can propose new rights for review.

“I think we’ve jumpstarted the conversation, and so we just want everyone else to be involved,” said Gagnier.

How would such a Bill of Rights impact users?

Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights: Yay or Nay?
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  • http://www.daronet.com/campaign/campaign.asp daronet website building

    rights or privacy has been gone a long time ago when facebook has enterd the game. so I’ll go with Nay…

  • Richard

    Yes!! Way overdue. Facebook greatly infringes our privacy and we can’t get out of the system now that we’re in. Many users had no idea of this when they joined. Thanks.

  • http://www.myrisedesign.net Taylor Clark

    How can something you willingly sign up for and provide extremely personal information infringe on your rights? You are submitting the information yourself, knowing the possibilities that can come from the submission.

    If you need a bill of rights for this, consider creating a personal list.

    - I will not sign up for anything that might compromise my personal life.
    - I will not willingly give out personal information.
    - I will not make everything about myself public.

    Just like smoking, drinking and any other bad habit, you know what you’re getting yourself into before you sign up for it. If not, you probably should have read the TOS. Ignorance of the system does not make you immune to it.

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