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Handling of User Data & Terms of Service. Discuss

  • zeitweise


    We have been brainstorming about the terms of service for our site with Buddypress. In order to build trustworthy community sites, I think transparency about how user data will be stored and handled is not only legally necessary but also essential for the credibility of the project. This thread is to encourage a discussion about terms of service and the handling of user data.

    We would like to provide our users with maximum control over the data they store on our plattform. Ideally that means:

    • provide complete transparency about what data we store why
    • no lock-in: export of content that has been created
    • complete deletion of user data when users unsubscribe from our platform

    To execute this control does not seem to be trivial with Buddypress.

    We identify (at least) three types of data:

    • private information that embellishes the user personality such as the profile fields name, place and interests but also private fotos or videos that can be uploaded to the profile via upcoming plugins;
    • data that is created by interaction on the platform, such as comments, the activity feed, private messages or the friends network;
    • and the content they generate – in our case less blog posts than event posts

    Two major questions arise from this:

    1. Is it technically even possible to erase or export all user data at once a) for admins and b) for users on a Buddypress site?
    2. Which data do you think should be excluded from user control in order for a community site to keep working properly, i.e. comments or events? And would it be a good choice to set creative commons licenses for certain types of data?

    I would love to hear your thoughts and approaches!

Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)

  • Kunal17


    I would love to see a TOS template that is customized to Buddypress communities that takes into account its technical feasibility like you described above.

    Buddypress makes it so easy for anyone to create a community but not everyone can afford to get professional legal help to create the TOS and privacy policy.

    Not sure if I can provide much input here as I am startup up my first community but I will follow this discussion closely.



    Couple of quick points:

    Transparancy is always key.

    Users want control over their own data.

    WP/WPMU/BP makes it very complicated to manage member data.

    And would it be a good choice to set creative commons licenses for certain types of data?

    I would NOT appreciate getting pushed into using this fake license from an academic with a political agenda, namely undermining copyright law and intellectual property rights. Creative Commons is slapping a fake label on something that already existed; public domain. I don’t work for Larry Lessig. I don’t have to ask Larry Lessig permission for anything.

    I am/was a journalist. The idea that all content should be free is basically destroying the media business. That’s great if you’re blogging from your mum’s basement, not great if you’re producing content to pay the rent – any content; text, video, design, code, etc.

    There is a lot of fluff and hypocrisy about open source, data portability etc. Facebook and Twitter are finding out the hard way. Everybody loves them when they’re free and open, but now they have to figure out how to make money to continue to pay employees when the venture capital money runs out.

    Proponents of giving stuff away for free are usually making their money some other way; they’re academics, work for the government, sell consulting services or hardware, live in their mum’s basement, etc. Google got rich and powerful claiming all content for themselves to sell ads in. Too many publishers went along and dug their own grave.

    So I’d like to keep a lot of data proprietary. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re clear and transparant about it. Publishers have always done it that way and technology does not necessarily require that to change.

Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
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