On Profile Portability

Robert Scoble, of Podtech, created quite an uproar on January 3rd when he was testing a new script to transfer information from his Facebook account to Plaxo (read about it here ). Facebook immediately detected the script and disabled his account. This incident has highlighted several key issues with both data portability and privacy, specifically:

  • Transfer of information needs to be simple and standardized between networks. Users should be able to easily move their friends lists or other data to another network.
  • Privacy must be respected. Networks should be clear about how data is shared and provide users with options on how friends use other fiends’ data
  • Security must be maintained. The amount of personal, private data will be very tempting, it must be well protected from the legions of trouble makers.

The DataPortability.org is one open group that is attempting to address these issues. While this group is still new and their objectives are ambitious, I encourage you to at a minimum to follow their progress and if possible support their efforts. More information on can be found here: http://dataportability.org/

-Colin

Quick update: I wanted to add this video from Mashable that I think provides a great overview onDataPortability.

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