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How Big Data Justifies Mining Your Social Data 102

GMGruman writes "Paul Krill reports that one of the big uses of the new "Big Data" analytics technology is to mine the information people post through social networking. Which led him to ask 'What gives Twitter, Facebook, et al. the right to mine that data?' It turns out, users do when they sign up for social networking services, even if they don't realize that — but less clear is the ownership of other information on the Web that these tools also mine."
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How Big Data Justifies Mining Your Social Data

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  • click-through TOS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mug funky ( 910186 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @06:54PM (#35448324)

    i think it's time click-through "I Agree" ten mile pages for new accounts get a test in court. people "sign" away too much, and not many people read those "agreements".

  • News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cosm ( 1072588 ) <> on Thursday March 10, 2011 @06:57PM (#35448350)

    Which led him to ask 'What gives Twitter, Facebook, et al. the right to mine that data?' It turns out, users do when they sign up for social networking services, even if they don't realize that

    End of discussion. Pointless article is pointless.

  • No Free Lunch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @07:14PM (#35448480) Homepage Journal
    Nothing is free. When someone gives you something for free, they are lying to you. There are always tangible and intangible benefits that tend to negate the freeness. We have free food programs so we don't have to think about the people who don't have enough to eat, and so that our stuff is safer because people without food will be less likely to steal(outside of self righteous morality, one option to get basics is always theft). In the US we have free education so that it is more likely out kids can increase the standard of living by leveraging technology to get more stuff out of the same or fewer resources. Someone has to pay for the Twitter servers, and those that do will eventually a return on investment, and not just a single digit multiplier. Google does not provide maps because they are company that will do not evil. All of us should know we trade ourselves for servies.

    This type of data mining is not something that bothers me. I think it should be more in the open, and maybe regulated to protect the average consumer, but it is not horrible. What I find horrible is places like Krogers and CVS that offer products far above prevailing prices and require one to have a card that will allow them to track and collect huge amounts of private data. Sure, we don't have to shop at CVS or Krogers, and sure they provide the occasional really good deal, but if i were to regulate something it would be these scams, not services that actually provide a useful service in exchange for data.

  • Re:News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @07:17PM (#35448516)
    Not only pointless, but wrong. You can't give up something if you don't realize that you're giving it up. A gift or a trade requires consent, which implies knowledge. It's pure sophistry to say otherwise, the kind that many lawyers like to use.
  • Re:News? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @07:30PM (#35448616)
    You're not giving up a right or possession by murdering or by slandering. Your analogy is inapplicable.
  • Re:News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2011 @07:42PM (#35448688)

    Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law.

    Well it bloody well ought to be. Laws are written by a caste of high priests in an arcane domain-specific language, behind closed doors and in the dead of night. They *intend* them to be unknowable by non-lawyers; it's part of the business model.

  • by A Man Called Da-da ( 2013464 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @07:59PM (#35448790) Homepage
    ...of facebook, twitter, etc. If enough people quit social disease networking (gasp, what will you do with your time??), then the corporations that run them will feel the pain and either change for the good, or go out of business. Both are wins for humanity. Alas, the reality is that, given lower numbers and a social forgetworking downturn, they'll just sell themselves to some big stupid brick-n-mortar conglomerate that doesn't know any better, where they'll limp into fad obscurity and resurge in 20 years as a peculiar, nostalgic fetish. Let asocial networking's EQUILIBRIUM OF MEDIOCRITY begin. -da-da
  • Re:News? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by raddan ( 519638 ) * on Thursday March 10, 2011 @09:02PM (#35449150)
    Ignorantia juris non excusat. It may be the case that everybody knows that nobody reads the fine print, but that doesn't mean that the fine print is not there.

    Like it or not, Facebook provides a service. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. If you don't like the exchange, don't participate.
  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @12:37AM (#35450076)
    "Did you know that Facebook records every single thing you do on their website from the very moment you sign up?"
    "So what?"

    That is an exchange that I had with someone when I was an undergrad. People do not actually care if companies are mining their private lives, they just want to use Facebook and Twitter and not have to think about anything.

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas