The bargain you made in exchange for free services. Consumers sometimes forget the bargain they made in exchange for the free services. Sometimes it means your personal information can be sold or marketed. Other times it means your content is not really yours anymore. Sometimes it means you get to pay for additional services once you are hooked. Or maybe that the rules change over time and the service is unreliable. Most times things work out OK and consumers don’t complain too much.
Free services always come with strings attached, limitations, service outages, advertising, etc. Facebook seems to be attracting all the attention now, but do people realize what Google is doing with “your data”? Your search history…your click stream data…the sites you have visited? Do they understand what information DoubleClick has collected on “your data”?
Dave Winer says "I want control of my data" and states in part;
I want Netflix and Yahoo to give me an XML version of my movie ratings, for me to decide what to do with. I've been asking for this for a couple of years, I still don't have it. This is information I created. I want to keep a copy. I want to make sure that Netflix knows about all my Yahoo ratings and vice versa. I'd like to give a copy to Facebook (assuming they agree to not disclose it) and maybe to Amazon, so they can recommend products I might want to purchase (again keeping it to themselves). I want to begin a negotiation with various vendors, where I give them something of value, and they give me back something of value.
Being able to export your Netflix ratings or Facebook friends list is mildly interesting, but inconsequential when compared to what is happening with your real important data. Maybe Doc Searls, Dave Winer, and the rest of the blog cognoscenti should focus their cannons in a different direction?