Whose Data?

I'm now sitting in the Whose data is it? workshop which is just starting. It turns out that the workshop now has a new title "Open Data Workshop" which sits very well with our work on open data licences

First up is Marc Hedlund who is referring to the O'Reilly open data quote that Paul blogged on a little while back. Hmm, he's even referring to open data licences, but only mentioning Creative Commons by name. Points out that all the big map providers use MapTech data and then moves on to describe the OpenStreetMap project, one of my favourite examples of the new open data movement.

Now, back to 1994 and a message from someone asking if there was a public archive of Usenet news. Someone replied that it would be infeasible due to the size. It turns out that it was Marc himself!. He uses this to point out Google's policies on data retention, allowing users to ask for posts to be removed.

Next, he puts up a slide of a "Data bill of rights" which highlights that export and delete are the two most important functions if you are dealing with user contributed data. That's something I definitely agree with and is a fundamental component of our platform approach.

Wesabe's full data bill of rights is as follows:

  • You can export and/or delete your data from Wesebe whenever you want
  • Your data is your data, not ours. Our job is to help you understand and act on your data
  • We'll keep all your data online and accessible for as long as you have an account. No "archive access" charges
  • Any data you want us to keep private, we will
  • If a question comes up not covered by these rights, we will answer it remembering that your data belongs to you.

This was followed by a piece by Stewart Butterfield of Yahoo/Flickr about how Flickr treats open data. I'm not sure how this sits with the official Yahoo! policy which appears not to have changed since I wrote that Galway paper submission 3 years ago. For example section 9 effectively says that you give Yahoo! a licence to use your postings to Yahoo! Groups and your uploads of photos, graphics, audio or video. This licence lasts until you tell them to withdraw the content. But all other content gives Yahoo! a:

perpetual, irrevocable and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed.

Cool to see the first part, but it truly sucks to see Yahoo! claim rights over the remaining content. Booo!

Permalink: http://blog.iandavis.com/2006/11/whose-data/

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