Social networking “Bill of Rights” released

A little over a month ago, the Electronic Frontier Foundation offered their suggestions about what a social networking “bill of rights” should contain.

Last week – after much commenting and writing and rewriting – an almost unanimous consensus on the main points that such a bill should contain has been reached between the attendees of the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference held in San Jose.

Here is the final version:

1. Honesty: Honor your privacy policy and terms of service
2. Clarity: Make sure that policies, terms of service, and settings are easy to find and understand
3. Freedom of speech: Do not delete or modify my data without a clear policy and justification
4. Empowerment: Support assistive technologies and universal accessibility
5. Self-protection: Support privacy-enhancing technologies
6. Data minimization: Minimize the information I am required to provide and share with others
7. Control: Let me control my data, and don’t facilitate sharing it unless I agree first
8. Predictability: Obtain my prior consent before significantly changing who can see my data.
9. Data portability: Make it easy for me to obtain a copy of my data.
10. Protection: Treat my data as securely as your own confidential data unless I choose to share it, and notify me if it is compromised.
11. Right to know: Show me how you are using my data and allow me to see who and what has access to it.
12. Right to self-define: Let me create more than one identity and use pseudonyms. Do not link them without my permission.
13. Right to appeal: Allow me to appeal punitive actions
14. Right to withdraw: Allow me to delete my account, and remove my data

The only point of dissent was the data portability provision, but the draft of the “bill” was made public on Facebook and Twitter, and the public is called to make their feelings known by voting for or against it.

According to, Facebook made its opinion known immediately: it is all in favor of offering a safe and trusted environment for its users, but does not agree with all the points. Google and Twitter? “No comment.”

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