A Social Network Users' Bill of Rights

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: -- Jack Lerner and Lisa Borodkin, [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/21/EDMT1DHE16.DTL We, the users -- Facebook Users' Bill of Rights], May 21 : -- Jack Lerner and Lisa Borodkin, [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/21/EDMT1DHE16.DTL We, the users -- Facebook Users' Bill of Rights], May 21
-That same week in May, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mark Sullivan of PC World also proposed bills of rights ([http://www.pcworld.com/article/196798/a_bill_of_rights_for_facebook_users.html 1], [http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/05/bill-privacy-rights-social-network-users 2]). Clearly, there's something in the air! And with Facebook sparking a broad discussion of social networks and privacy, CFP's perfectly timed to develop the idea.+That same week in May, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mark Sullivan of PC World also proposed bills of rights ([http://www.pcworld.com/article/196798/a_bill_of_rights_for_facebook_users.html 1], [http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/05/bill-privacy-rights-social-network-users 2]). Clearly, there's something in the air!
-Over the course of the conference, we'll collaboratively draft a proposed ''Social network users' bill of rights'' and circulate it broadly for discussion and feedback. Panels like ''Privacy and Free Speech: it's good for business'', ''Privacy choices online'', and ''Can an app do that?'' will give plenty of opportunity to explore the underlying issues; we're also adding a session to focus specifically on the bill of rights (probably on Tuesday afternoon). +A broadly-recognized social network users' bill of rights would be a huge step forward for online freedom and privacy. For me -- and hundreds of millions of others -- sites like Facebook, Twitter, tribe.net, and free-association are how I stay in touch with friends and family. As Voces Contra Las FARC, Barack Obama, #iranelection, and hundreds of other campaigns have shown, social network sites are also vital for political activism. And yet, today we the users of the sites have only minimal rights.
-Thursday night, we'll finalize the wording, and ask for help translating it into different languages and posting it on Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo!, Orkut, Buzz, and elsewhere for discussion. At the Friday afternoon plenary, Professor Dorothy Glancy will lead a session of debate and voting, streamed live over the internet with a Twitter backchannel.+A bill of rights sends a message to sites about what their users expect. With enough momentum, it can give user-focused commercial open-source projects an opportunity to distinguish themselves by adopting the rights -- and highlight the sites who aren't willing to. It's also a way of providing input in the ongoing debates about legislation and regulation. And just as importantly, the discussions around a bill of rights are a great opportunity for education and debate about what kind of online society we want to create.
 + 
 +CFP provides a unique opportunity to build on the work that's been done so far. We've had in-depth discussions of these issues for years, with participation from all sides in the debate: corporations including Facebook, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft; privacy and civil liberties organizations like EFF, ACLU, EPIC, and CDT; activists and journalists to bring their perspectives and help get the word out. And with Facebook catalyzing a broad discussion of social networks and privacy, this year's conference is perfectly timed to get media attention.
 + 
 +So let's do it!
 + 
 +Over the course of the conference, we'll collaboratively draft a proposed ''Social network users' bill of rights'' and circulate it broadly online for discussion and feedback. Panels like ''Privacy and Free Speech: it's good for business'', ''Privacy choices online'', and ''Can an app do that?'' discuss the underlying issues, and the Unconference on Wednesday provides an opportunity to explore specific issues in more detail. We're also adding a session to focus specifically on the bill of rights (probably on Tuesday afternoon); details TBD.
 + 
 +In a Birds of a Feather session Thursday night, we'll finalize the wording, and ask for help translating it into different languages and posting it throughout the blogophere as well as on Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo!, Orkut, Buzz, and elsewhere for discussion. At the Friday afternoon plenary, Professor Dorothy Glancy will lead a session of debate and voting, streamed live over the internet with a Twitter backchannel.

Revision as of 23:21, 4 June 2010

It is up to each and every one of us to insist on our online rights, whether by voicing protests or building communities with services that respect our rights. Remember: We are the Web.
-- Jack Lerner and Lisa Borodkin, We, the users -- Facebook Users' Bill of Rights, May 21

That same week in May, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mark Sullivan of PC World also proposed bills of rights (1, 2). Clearly, there's something in the air!

A broadly-recognized social network users' bill of rights would be a huge step forward for online freedom and privacy. For me -- and hundreds of millions of others -- sites like Facebook, Twitter, tribe.net, and free-association are how I stay in touch with friends and family. As Voces Contra Las FARC, Barack Obama, #iranelection, and hundreds of other campaigns have shown, social network sites are also vital for political activism. And yet, today we the users of the sites have only minimal rights.

A bill of rights sends a message to sites about what their users expect. With enough momentum, it can give user-focused commercial open-source projects an opportunity to distinguish themselves by adopting the rights -- and highlight the sites who aren't willing to. It's also a way of providing input in the ongoing debates about legislation and regulation. And just as importantly, the discussions around a bill of rights are a great opportunity for education and debate about what kind of online society we want to create.

CFP provides a unique opportunity to build on the work that's been done so far. We've had in-depth discussions of these issues for years, with participation from all sides in the debate: corporations including Facebook, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft; privacy and civil liberties organizations like EFF, ACLU, EPIC, and CDT; activists and journalists to bring their perspectives and help get the word out. And with Facebook catalyzing a broad discussion of social networks and privacy, this year's conference is perfectly timed to get media attention.

So let's do it!

Over the course of the conference, we'll collaboratively draft a proposed Social network users' bill of rights and circulate it broadly online for discussion and feedback. Panels like Privacy and Free Speech: it's good for business, Privacy choices online, and Can an app do that? discuss the underlying issues, and the Unconference on Wednesday provides an opportunity to explore specific issues in more detail. We're also adding a session to focus specifically on the bill of rights (probably on Tuesday afternoon); details TBD.

In a Birds of a Feather session Thursday night, we'll finalize the wording, and ask for help translating it into different languages and posting it throughout the blogophere as well as on Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo!, Orkut, Buzz, and elsewhere for discussion. At the Friday afternoon plenary, Professor Dorothy Glancy will lead a session of debate and voting, streamed live over the internet with a Twitter backchannel.