Who needs it the most? Users of the software
Being explicit about what rights the users of a system have -- and having processes in place in support of those rights -- is an important way of protecting people. One approach to this is to adopt a "bill of rights" or some other statement of user rights, as a complement to the Terms of Service (which typically describes user responsibilities and restrictions). The Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Social Network Users' Bill of Rights model document includes the following elements
- Clarity: Make sure that policies, terms of service, and settings are easy to find and understand
- Freedom of speech: Do not delete or modify my data without a clear policy and justification
- Empowerment : Support assistive technologies and universal accessibility
- Self-protection: Support privacy-enhancing technologies
- Data minimization: Minimize the information I am required to provide and share with others
- Control: Let me control my data, and don’t facilitate sharing it unless I agree first
- Predictability: Obtain my prior consent before significantly changing who can see my data.
- Data portability: Make it easy for me to obtain a copy of my data
- Protection: Treat my data as securely as your own confidential data unless I choose to share it, and notify me if it is compromised
- Right to know: Show me how you are using my data and allow me to see who and what has access to it.
- Right to self-define: Let me create more than one identity and use pseudonyms. Do not link them without my permission.
- Right to appeal: Allow me to appeal punitive actions
- Right to withdraw: Allow me to delete my account, and remove my data
- The Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Social Network Users' Bill of Rights was collaboratively debated, drafted, and ratified at the 2010 conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy. It's time for a Social Network Users' Bill of Rights and What rights should social network users have? on the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy blog, have more background; Mike Swift's Online privacy: 'Bill of rights' for social networking debated in San Jose, in the San Jose Mercury News, describes the drafting process.
- Ello's Bill of Rights for Social Network Users, which strikes many similar points, is a rare example of a commercial social network explicitly adopting a bill of rights.
- Call for a Social Networking Bill of Rights, Duncan Work, Planetwork Jornal, July 2004, is one of the earliest calls for a bill of rights
- A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web, Joseph Smarr et al., Open Social Web, September 5, 2007
- Global Privacy Standards for a Global World, The Madrid Privacy Declaration, November 2, 2009
- A Bill of Privacy Rights for Social Network Users, Kurt Opsahl, EFF's Deep Links blog May 19
- We, the users -- Facebook users' bill of rights, Jack Lerner and Lisa Borodkin, SF Gate, May 21