Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ Freedom to exit

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This post revisits an important issue that should concern anyone who uses technology: freedom to exit. "If you can take your data out, if you can move it from one piece of software to another, then you own your data. If you cannot, if the software can tell you no, then you don't own your data." Gordon Brander identifies three major approaches to address this: decentralized protocols, local-first data, and legal agreements. The idea of addressing this issue through contracting or licensing is absurd. There is, of course, an obvious fourth avenue that he does not raise: government legislation. Similar to the provisions under the European GDPR, it should be mandatory for any company hosting user data (including institutional data) to enable either access to all data through open protocols, or local-first data (with provision for update or deletion of aggregated data).

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: May 22, 2024 6:04 p.m.

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