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back to article EC data protection proposals could open up Zuck's 'social graph'

Draft proposals on the European Commission's "general data protection regulation" have been leaked online. The authenticity of the 116-page document (PDF) was corroborated by the EC, which The Register contacted on Wednesday afternoon. Version 56 of the draft proposal was issued by Brussels on 29 November this year, and …

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Anonymous Coward

Erm...whose social graph?

It looks like the EU think the data belong to the users not to the company running the network. They let Zuck use it for a while, but he would have to give it back if asked. It sounds like personally identifiable data is to become a new class of intellectual property, belonging to the identifiable person(s) rather than whoever collected the data.

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds like a good plan - I'd like a zipped archive containing all my photos with an XML file with all data I've posted, including internal links to the photos. Any other social network can slurp in that data when I join.

OK, that could be quite a lot of info, but it the size could be calculated when creating it and limited by dates to the last x months. Just so long as profile info and references to friends are included regardless.

Is there a meta-social network that allows you to store your data on any social site and connect to friends on any other? The equivalent of Trillian but for social networking?

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Thumb Up

Open office / Microsoft office

The leagal profession pretty much forced microsoft to hand out its file types and support open file types in order to prevent a monopoly. Looking at Facebook's market share it seems entirely appropriate that an open export/import feature be demanded.

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Bronze badge

a good idea...

facebook has a bunch of my life from a few years ago - when I last used it, it would be nice to be able to recover that in one fell swoop and cut the thing totally dead.

It will also be interesting to see that this does to the social network market, once users arnt tied to a given provider, it opens up a world of opportuniity for all the other socal sites...

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Big Brother

Is this the beginings of a digital thumbprint type system...?

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Boffin

They really need to think this through first

While I think such legislation is a fantastic idea, and in good keeping with Sir Tim Berners-Lee's views on data silos and walled gardens, as a programmer myself I can see a problem that needs to be addressed if this is to work.

That is, we need an W3C-style standard for exporting or importing this data. Obviously some kind of XML is the way to go, but we need some standardised labelling system within that XML. For example, how do I, as a web developer, know which part of a data block exported from Facebook is the user's first name, last name, phone number, email, post content and so on?

For example, if say Facebook do it like this:

<FirstName>Steven</FirstName>

<LastName>Roper</LastName>

and Google+ do it like this:

<person_Name>Steven Roper</person_Name>

then we're going to have the devil's own time trying to decipher cryptically named XML files from different social networks.

So there really needs to be a defined, global standard for describing social network data. The W3C of course is the best body to address this, but the issue does need to be addressed before any such laws are enacted.

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Anonymous Coward

Besides the mind boggling technical burdens this would impose on pretty much anyone with a server, when you get into social networks, you open a whole nother can of worms. For example, your social network includes me. Do you have the right to give my information? I realize that's stretching the draft text as listed, but it's the inference the article was making.

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Anonymous Coward

Indeed, this is stupid. I would never adhere to that legislation even if it becomes mandatory.

Why the special treatment on automated electronic data? If you're gonna apply such requirements. Why don't you do it to all data?

Also, if data needs to be 'manually' approved with a click before it is allowed into the database. Does that still constitute automated processing?

The internet needs to be free from these red tapes. Net neutrality goes beyond wires and telecoms. It means leave the f-ing net alone and legislate AROUND it.

Data is very much a company's revenue stream particularly for FB and Google and what these legislators are telling them is to tell them to share their revenue stream. Ridiculous.

Perhaps if these legislators work for free. They might be able to back up their own call.

What the net needs is enforceable legislation, we already have enough legislation to cover data protection. Each country's ICO should have the right to audit a company's use of data much like the HMRC on tax. THAT would be enforceable (at least more so). Creating even more restrictive legislation on top of others is counter productive.

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