Wednesday, October 29, 2008

social net (and other "cloud") content ownership

so i'm wondering about the amount of private data people keep on semi-public sites, and how to control it - the constant lament from people recently is how much they give away about their lives - recent papers (and > talks) have pointed out how many employers' HR departments now routinely scan applications online social net info to see what bad things the said applicants might have been up to...

it seems to me that there ought to be two technical solutions (this is assuming no-one can crack the problem of usability and privacy, which, for me, seems intractable).

1. I should retain control over the content even though it is on a "foreign" server - to this end, I think the content should be encrypted and require a key I supply to the server site, and I auto-delete frequently (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly or triggered by lack of accesses)

2. I keep the content it self

I require (economically, socially, legally,) proof that the server site software is checked by third parties that it doesn't just mine my data periodically and "archive" plaintext copies....

the penalties (for commercial, but also, crucially, for government agencies) for not respecting my right to delete should be very harsh (e.g. for individual, I should get equivalent of 1 years salary for each instance of violation).

3. what if I put some copyright stuff (that I have fair re-use rights over) on to a cloud? are the cloud folks now gonna find the RIAA chasin them?

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home