Who owns the data you make public (or even the stuff you may incorrectly think is private) when you post online?

posted 28 Dec 2010, 06:14 by Jess Maher   [ updated 31 Jan 2011, 04:15 ]
The area of legal and real life implications of online behaviour and digital rights debates continue to cross over the boundaries of both contexts, in short, the internet and our online lives, while increasingly accepted as being integrated into main stream society and "real life" they continue to at times, appear to act as thought they are 'above the law' (excuse the pun however..). However the scary thing many users or individuals commonly fail to realise until they have already been burnt or hurt, is that at the moment, the reality is that in some instances, they almost certain are just that. 

When someone registers an account on a service, such as for example, in the case of Facebook, they should be aware what they are actually doing is signing & agreeing to the terms and conditions of a legally binding contract.Further to that, it should be made incredibly transparent and obvious that this is actually the case every time anyone actually just clicks one of those "I Agree" buttons, whether it be on or offline. 

The group from the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) have also made some noise about the inability of such agreements being adequate. They have a great article and post which can be found here, https://www.eff.org/wp/clicks-bind-ways-users-agree-online-terms-service which explores the way, rights & repercussions of many users flippantly "signing away their souls" without even realizing it sometimes. Emphasizing this issues significance, the EFF state in their article, " But by clicking on such boxes, or even in some cases just by using the website, we as online users may be binding ourselves to legally enforceable contracts with the online service provider (i.e. website, MMORPG, etc.)."  (see full article here) 

Useful Resources when it comes to Online & Digital Issues & Contexts for Legal Rights, Obligations & Disagreements 

The American Law Institute 
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