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User data and potential abuse by 3rd parties

Ok, what could be worse for the social-oriented internet service (like blog hoster or dating site) than selling its userbase to the 3rd party ? May be selling it by segments based on ethnic principle ? Making division by either language or IP or whatever. Well, 6Apart did just that selling livejournal "russian userbase" to the russian based startup company:


"Partnership will improve user experience by upgrading translation, localization and customer support, and providing enhancements for LiveJournal's Russian users."


There is nothing more lame than that, IMHO. There is no such thing - "russian livejournal" or "chinese livejournal". That is one of the reasons why livejournal had never become a true major player in the blogosphere on its own despite millions of users. I mean the lack of respect to its users. Was it a buck per user deal or something like this ? Really hard to understand - you come and sell your users to the 3rd party startup founded just 2 months ago ?


What about users who fear abuse by third parties ? It is a different story BTW and John Battelle suggests unique idea, virtually called Data Switzerland:


"The concept is simple: why can't companies that hold massive amounts of our personally identifying information - companies like Yahoo, AOL, Google, Verizon, etc - simply warehouse that information in a country that has consumer-friendly data privacy laws? Why can't my search history, my particular entries in the database of intentions, my clickstreams, be housed in this Data Switzerland, if I so chose? "


Update: Oh and I found this small quote inside LJ acquizition by 6Apart announcement (January, 2005), which is very relevant, IMHO:


"And we're not going to spam or sell your information. You own your journals, not us. Really you shouldn't see any negative changes. "


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Saturday, October 21, 2006 4:55 AM

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