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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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  • Re:click-through TOS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2011 @07:26PM (#35448592)

    > Why the double quotes? Is an agreement any less valid if its done on a web form?

    You didn't sign it, "your kid" or "your neighbor" must have clicked Agree, it wasn't you who agreed to anything. Easy.

  • Re:News? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @07:45PM (#35448706)

    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.

    And yet people blindly accept click-throughs on a regular basis. What a paradox. But what an opportunity in the field of education! All we need to do is add an "I agree" button to the end of any given lecture and students will instantly gain knowledge whether they paid attention or not!

  • Yes, but clickthroughs aren't usually contracts, as there is no way to actually negotiate a contract via them.

    That would be an interesting one though... what happens if I modify and initial the clickthrough before clicking "I agree"? Isn't it up to the principle to then verify that they agree with my changes?

    After all, it's pretty simple to modify the clickthrough text in an installer (even easier in a web form) before clicking "I agree".

    The problem here is that usually the principle gets back zero feedback as to what you agreed to -- only that you must have agreed because you're using their product. Real contracts involve both parties actually agreeing to something. Clickthroughs are the equivalent of the principle setting up a fruit stand with a gate in front of it with a sign reading "If you open this gate, you agree to the following...."

    If someone comes in from the back field or climbs over the fence, they haven't agreed. They might run afoul of copyright, but there is no contract whatsoever. The undisclosed agent argument could be used here. But if they modify the actual agreement and sign the changes, there is already implicit agreement from the principle, or it's not a contract. They can choose to reject the changes, but they have to be there to do that.

  • Re:click-through TOS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DarwinSurvivor ( 1752106 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @08:45PM (#35449056)
    It has actually been tested in Canada a few times and MANY of these agreements are NOT enforceable. There are *very* specific conditions the website has to adhere to in order for the agreement to be enforceable.
  • Re:click-through TOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MickLinux ( 579158 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @09:16PM (#35449216) Journal

    It's about time that instead of just clicking thru, people start thinking:

      (1) Typically, when evil corporations make evil agreements, their subsequent actions are ______ evil, as compared to the agreement.
          (a) MORE (b) LESS (c) ABOUT AS

      (2) I know I _____ the service (a) WANT (b) NEED (c) JUST GOTTA GOTTA HAVE

      (3) The "service" is actually _______ (a) a service (b) an bilateral transaction (c) a unilateral action masquerading as a bilateral transaction (d) a waste of resources (e) a con.

      (4) Now I will ______ (a) click "I agree", the above notwithstanding. (b) Walk away while I still can walk. (c) wonder what I was thinking, that I wanted to deal with these people.

            Just as an aside, that's sortof related, I'm unemployed. I worked on a team of 20 that was producing about $10Million of profit a year for our company. The company acted in *really* *really* bad faith. (Think brakeless trucks and repetitive OSHA violations. Think Company Code of Conduct. Think Honeypot). They hired their own lawyer to investigate, who took statements, but didn't even check the sources I give, waited for the OSHA statute of limitations to expire, and then announced the honeypot, concluding that there was no evidence.
            They fired me; now they are making about 1/6th that profit (think 1 production run of $75000 profit a week, as opposed to 3, and with many massive errors, as opposed to almost none.) So the company fired me, having profited heavily before, and I having made a max of $17/hr. But they did hurt themselves badly.

            Point being, I was about to apply for a job at a certain Language Translation CDr company, and in order to even apply and maybe interview, they wanted me to sign a click-thru agreement of confidentiality that included damages beyond limitless, and payment of all the lawyer fees they chose to assign, should they choose to hire a lawyer.

          Umm... I've already been there. Thank you, but rather than work for such an employer (or click through), I'd rather be unemployed. Arguably, I'd rather starve.

    I chose to walk away. If an employer would give an honest wage for an honest day's labor, they'd get a ton out of me. Language Translation Company is showing that there's no trust, so they aren't going to get the goodies.

Disks travel in packs.