What does Social Portability Mean?

To privacy? It’s (a copy of) your personal data (that you chose to share), after all.

To advertising revenue? Social sites make cash from eyeballs who visit to see what you’ve shared.

The jury is still well out on this, but since MySpace announced their data portability initiative, Facebook and Google  have responded on how they would offer to share access to your data.

Let me clarify: I see this as social, but not really "portable"; it’s more like "accessible": where a user can define to what other networks their data could be referenced and / or shared. webmonkey comments on this in "How MySpace Plans to Become Everybody’s Space".

I don’t see any of the sites releasing (or transferring) the data; it’s either a pointer to, or a copy of some of the data between sites. In the MySpace case, access to data is granted by the user, but the API looks to be a pointer to the data than release of the data. ClickZ comments: ".. MySpace Unveils Data Portability Project" (part of a larger article).

Per Wired, Facebook isn’t too keen about releasing control of your data, in "Facebook, Google Square Off Over Who Controls Your Data (Hint: It’s Not You)".

I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.

June 14, 2011 Update: We haven’t. Most everything discussed in these articles has happened .. although by Facebook and not MySpace.

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