Privacy or Portability, Which Will It Be?

Facebook has been pilloried for not caring enough about our privacy. But now they face a call to offer data portability, something that could, if not carefully designed, compromise the privacy we so wanted last year.
Facebook disabled blogger Robert Scoble’s account after he ran automated scripts against the site. The site’s Terms of Service say that you agree not to “use automated scripts to collect information from or otherwise interact with the Service or the Site.”
The general consensus seems to be that this was Scoble’s data and so he should be able to do whatever he likes with it. But that information he’s trying to get wasn’t all his. Apparently he wanted information about his “social graph”: the friendships he has recorded on Facebook and profile data about those friends.
Even if Scoble’s Facebook friends agreed to let him view their data on Facebook, they didn’t agree to let him take that information wherever he wants to do with what he wants. He could use a screen scraping program to grab data that they consider just-among-friends and stick it out in public without any regard for their privacy settings. You might say, “Scoble wouldn’t do that” but it’s Facebook’s responsibility to see that it doesn’t happen.
Data portability could be designed into Facebook in such a way that it doesn’t compromise user’s privacy. At the very least, an opt-in to profile sharing outside Facebook would need to be provided. Allowing uncontrolled screen scraping is not the answer.

Windows Mobile 5 & 6 feature comparison

Windows_mobile_comparisonJason Langridge has a pretty hot document: this two page Adobe PDF is a fantastic feature comparison between Windows Mobile versions 5 and 6! I’m personally happy to see features like:

  • Remote access and support for the Out-of-Office assistant in Outlook
  • SharePoint integration and access
  • Smart filtering for messages
  • Internet Sharing; already available in AKU 3 of Windows Mobile 5 as I use it on my T-Mobile Dash

The doc finishes with a nice summary of the different Windows Mobile 6 versions as well: Standard, Professional and Classic.

Shake Shake Da VoIP

Things are not looking good in VoIP land, and some of the marginal players are feeling the pressure of resurgent cable operators, and scorch earth tactics of Vonage. Presence of natural born channels AOL and Yahoo is giving some people a pause. e911 is proving to be a major migraine for most. In other words days of price-arbitrage are over, and shake-up might be under way. Andy reports that Lingo is in layoff mode. This could be AWCS sending signals of an VoIP-implosion.