Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What are your rights regarding personal email? [Extra Bit]

[Are Facebook Saints?]

Just adding an extra point to my recent Blog post.

The question I posed in my last post about email sharing was triggered by Facebook stating that it is wrong for a person to mass move private details such as email addresses and telephone number etc to a new service provider without the person knowing. It is an interesting (and perhaps valid) argument which covers up what they would rather say which is "please don't move your Facebook contacts to our competition and set up an ecosystem (there must be a better word) there."

The point is that Facebook, through its partnership with Skype is forcing its users to do just what it is telling them they should not do with Google Plus.

I haven't used the Skype functionality in Facebook as yet so I'm not sure exactly how it works but from what I've read, once you use it once to chat through voice or video to a contact, it creates them as a contact in Skype. Essentially, by you chatting to someone over Facebook Video, you are creating a link to someone in Skype where one didn't exist before.

This really is very similar to what Facebook is arguing you shouldn't do by using automated ways of exporting Facebook contacts to create contacts in Google Plus.

Facebook is a business so one shouldn't be surprised when they choose profit over strange ethics but then expecting their users to abide by these ethics is a bit hypocritical.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What are your rights regarding personal email?

[I'm not talking legally...just ethically]

So, someone gives you their business card with all their details. Can you load it on Outlook to make it easier for you to contact them. Can you add them to you phonebook on your phone? What if your phone gets stolen? Can you give it to a colleague? What if the colleague has some work for the person? What if the colleague is an annoying git? Can you give it to a salesperson who is selling selling something you think the person would want? Can you give it to a salesperson just to get them off your back?

Taking things further... Facebook argues that you do not have the right to take your 'friend's details off their network and use it on another network. Obviously Facebook have a vested interest in you not being able to move information off their network and tying you down but do they have a point?

Of course, they've never had an issue before with apps sharing users' details and downloading friends' information.

But this is not to judge Facebook on their new awareness of privacy, it is to ask the question. Should someone be confident to move your personal information including you email address to any system that they want to? Or should they ask first? Or should they just not do it at all?

Discuss. :)