Privacy and Social Networks

I got this excellent video from Neli Mengalli on Friendfeed about privacy in social networks like for instance Facebook and Orkut. Most people do not realize what lies behind the apparent ” free safety” of these closed gardens.

This video made by Privacy Commission of Canada complements what Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, defines as the goals of her mandate and her growing worry of “governments and businesses (which) have a seemingly insatiable appetite for personal information.”

Many educators and bloggers have already warned people about what happens when they want to close their account in some of these sites. The information is not really deleted but kept there just in case people change their mind and in case they don’t, there is no way they can recover it or transport it to another site. Users do not know how their data is being used either.

What is the message behind the video? Can and should openness/freedom be an issue? We should we have the right to protect and have the ownership of our personal information/content being able to retrieve it whenever we see fit.

UPDATE: A good article on First Monday that goes along the same way : Market Ideology and the Myths of Web 2.0

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