Social networks and social media

Remember those photographs you took doing something you’d rather forget with someone you can’t remember in a location you can’t recall? You discarded the originals, of course. And what about that exchange of e-mails that got out of hand and which you now deeply regret. You deleted them of course, so it’s all in the past.

Or is it?

If you posted the pictures to a social network like Facebook or e-mailed from an address like Gmail or Hotmail, then all your photographs are still in cyberspace, eternally circulating, awaiting recall at an embarrassingly inappropriate moment. And those e-mails? Well, don’t forget that Gmail and Hotmail have the right to read anything and everything you post on their services, keep it forever and use it as they see fit to ‘provide their service’. As things stand at the moment, you have no right to be forgotten and no right to have your foolish indiscretions forgotten either – even if you delete your accounts. If anyone shared your stuff, reposted or quoted it in an email then it remains out there forever. Read the rest of this entry »