I am watching the buzz around social network application platforms - Facebook, MySpace, and now - Google with OpenSocial.
The idea seems to be brilliant, and it advances the web world. Moreover, it brings us new customers (I will not publish any names, but some of them are really well-known Facebook platform apps developers). We should be happy.
However there are also some menacing tendencies. Let's look what benefits OpenSocial gives to developers:
OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks:
Profile Information (user data)
Friends Information (social graph)
Activities (things that happen, News Feed type stuff)
But what is about privacy? Google allows to gather together different information about users and this info may become as detailed as archives of secret special servies. When I write in one social network that, say, I am a guitar player, and I like to listen to Ramones, and write in another where I am working, and submit on Google to specific RSS feeds, I do not expect someone to glue these data together and use it to make money on me. What I want is to let other people with similar interests to find me. I do not want anyone to estimate my interests, my paying capacity, my information channels, and sell something based on this info.
Just wondering whether they regulate it in some way? If not, some time later social networking industry may face the problem that people remove accounts or stop leaving personal information.