The Online User Manifesto

Über einen Artikel auf wurde ich auf Shel Israel, Tech-Consultant, Journalist und Autor u.a. von Naked Conversations und Twitterville, aufmerksam. In bester Tradition des 1999 veröffentlichen Cluetrain Manifests sowie Robert Scobles 2005 vorgestellten Corporate Blogging Manifestos hat Israel im vergangenen Jahr mit seinem Online User Manifesto einen kritischen und wichtigen Beitrag zur aktuellen Diskussion über den Schutz von persönlichen Daten im Internet geleistet. Den Original-Text seines Manifests könnt ihr hier lesen:

The Online User Manifesto

1. We the people of the internet have certain inalienable rights, which you the online site provider cannot remove or diminish. We were born with these rights and do not relinquish them when we go online.  When we visit your site, we continue to have these rights and you will respect those right.

2. You have presumed the right to gather data on each of us. You collect it, resell it and decide what we will see based on it. You call this “personalization.”

We recognize that it would be easier to stem the ocean’s tide than to stop these practices. But you must stop doing this in secret. You assume a privacy related to our personal data by taking our own privacy away from us and this must stop.

We have the right what you say and sell related to ourselves and this you cannot keep from us.

We, the users, have the right to review the personal data you collect on us. We have the right to challenge it and even add our own comments. If you make assumptions, based on this data, you must ask us before presuming to filter and shape the results you give us users in the name of “better user experience.”

3. In the same name of personalization you determine what we see when we search. You determine who we friend, follow and what we read. You have, without our permission, become our filters and censors.

You do this autonomously, and that determines not only what each of us gets to see and know, but also what other people get to see and know about us.

This is just not right. We demand the right to Opt In before you manipulate the content we see.

4. Legally, you are adept at covering your buttocks with small type and legalese that most of us do not read and cannot understand. If you are required to use such language, then you will develop executive summaries, which state in clear and simple terms, what is being said.

5. You select content for us you think we will like. The advantage to you, you believe is that we will stay longer, be exposed to more ads and enjoy the people we encounter.

This may or may not be true. We, the users, have the right to see content and viewpoints that are different from our own. Liberals can opt to see content from conservatives and the reverse. Atheists and agnostics can have easy access to people espousing religious agendas.

We have the right not to become a polarized society for the decisions you make about us without our knowledge or consent.

6. We have the right to own our words, images and thoughts. To take ownership of our words with or without permission is plagiarism. To reuse any intellectual property without attribution is theft. To ignore these facts is to ignore laws as they stand in most countries of the world.


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