We, the users of Twitter, Facebook, do ordain

June 22, 2010

Two decades after the first Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy, a group of privacy advocates, computer scientists, lawyers and others wrapped up a conference in San Jose on Friday with what they hope will be a milestone for the social Web: a “bill of rights” for social-network users.

It includes more than a dozen principles, set out in plain English, that range from requiring “honesty” and “clarity” for networks’ written privacy principles, to safeguarding users’ ability to quit a social service and remove their personal data.

“The underlying idea is that Facebook likes to describe itself as equivalent to the third-largest country in the world,” said Jon Pincus, chief technology officer of Qworky, a Seattle company that makes meeting software for small businesses, and co-chairman of the 20th CFP conference, which is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery. “What rights do the citizens of that country have?”

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