jueves, 26 de noviembre de 2009

Another Categorization of Social Networking Data

Following Bruce Schneier post on social network data taxonomies I made my own categorization. You will observe that is not a taxonomy because data is not exclusively in one of the categories, that is, the categories are not disjoint. It is a categorization centered on data destination, places and people that can store it, access it and the use it. Schneier taxonomy is centered on trust levels I think.
  1. Collected Data. Data collected by the service provider. Unless this data is encrypted on the client-side and stored this way on the server we assume it is plain text data accessible by the service provider. Usually includes profile and network data explicitly provided by the user, and click history implicitly provided. You can assume that everything you do and upload in the browser tab of the service is collected if the privacy policy of the service doesn't state it otherwise.
  2. Public/Disclosed Data. Data that is published openly, such as complete name or e-mail. It can be useful for other people trying to locate you.
  3. Social Data. Data that is openly shared with your trusted contacts. Unless these contacts are inside your circle of trust, they can't access it.
  4. Monetized Data. Data that is actually used by the service provider to serve you personalized advertising. This category also includes data that can be sold anonymized or aggregated to third parties.
You can observe that in some services, such as web logs, all social data is public/disclosed. It is common nowdays, that the service provider collects all the data, so the public/disclosed data and the social data are included there. On the other side, a encrypted social network service could possibly assure a minimization of collected data. Obviously monetized data can only be extracted from some data collected from the provider. If the social data can be widely collected by other users infiltrating your social contact list they can build a dataset that can be turn into monetized data. Another example is Google's Social Graph effort, they are transforming part of your social data in services they can't access into public/disclosed data that fits better inside their business model.

Some ideas in this post are related to Alex Iskold post on attention silos.