Dear Facebook – I Want My Data

February 3, 2009

by — Posted in Technology

Image from here

Dear Facebook,

We’ve had a good couple of years.   I don’t want to breakup, we will always be friends.  I do say I hang out with Myspace sometimes, but they are not as interesting as you.   What I’m having though is questions about our relationship.   If something should happen to you, what am I going to do about all the data I’ve lent you over the years.  I have no assurance that I will be getting back in any form.   Right before we went to the funeral for Pownce, Pownce was nice enough to give me back all the data that I had lent to it over time.   This was very nice of them.   They have even started the wave of other web companies opening up and handing out their data before closing their doors.

Now I’m not saying you are going anywhere.  Do not think I’m plotting or anticipating your demise.   This is also not about your recent plans to sell my polling data.   I understand how all that works and I am sympathetic to the need you have to make money, otherwise you won’t be around.   The difference with the companies that have released data and you is that they openly gave me my data for the most part up front via a RSS feed.   You however do not allow me to pull down my own data and contributions into my own lifestream.

Now you may not understand this, and your TOS may even state differently, but under US copyright law I still own the copyright of the data I create.   To salvage my data from your clutches I normally post to you last.   You don’t get my latest stories first, you don’t get my pictures first, and you don’t get my movies first.   Mostly you get my comments, and the mini-feed data you generate from my activities.   That is what I would like access to.

Please, give me access to this feed data, it would go a long way to show me what you think of this relationship we have.



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