If you post on MySpace or Facebook, does that mean you automatically waive your presumption of privacy, and therefore an easy target for defamation?
John Battelle and All Facebook take Nick Denton of Gawker to task for writing a piece using information culled from a Facebook profile. While it may be easy for some to dismiss this as just another story about yet another rich girl, I have to believe that Emily Brill feels tremendously violated. A friend of mine was recently approached by someone she didn't know, but seemed to know everything about her. It turns out he had scraped her MySpace page: certainly not a crime, but definitely creepy.
It echoes the story a couple years back of how Paris Hilton's Sidekick got hacked and her private information suddenly become not so private. In all of these cases, the individual had a presumption of privacy that was violated in a novel way by a third party.
It's interesting that this example is coming up just as the Data Portability Workgroup is revving up. As a member of the Policy Blueprint action group, I'm less concerned about tedious tasks like repeatedly adding friends and more concerned about what happens when emerging notions of data portability get hijacked by a critic, a criminal, or worse.
I'm interested in your thoughts. What should the "proper" response be if your personal data were to be used in a way that you -- not Facebook, not MySpace, but you -- thought was inappropriate?
See Also: DataPortability updates on Techmeme