Have you ever read “privacy policy” of your preferred social media?

newtonToday we had an interview date with Markus Mooslechner from ORF (Austrian Broadcasting). The TV-Show “Newton” will discuss next Saturday how social media affects our lives, especially how one can make sure that private data won´t be used improperly, e.g. by certain internet providers.

My colleague Tassilo Pellegrini gave some nice examples how some providers like Facebook explicitly state in their privacy policy that they are allowed to hand over all personal data to any other third party (“…our service providers may have access to your personal information for use for a limited time in connection with these business activities”).

It´s a shame that some fundamental rights regarding privacy have dissipated in just a few years.

Also today, I asked Chris Bizer, doubtlessly one of the key-players in the semantic web community, some questions for an interview. Among other things I was also wondering if he thinks that the Semantic Web could solve some privacy issues or if Linked Data will rather become a synonym for “transparent user” (Gläserner Mensch).

We will see, what Chris thinks, the interview will be published soon.

The “career” of a website can be strange sometimes…

When I first stumbled upon “StumbleUpon” about two years ago or so, I was fascinated by the idea of this application using “collaborative filtering” – the wisdom of the crowd. But after a while more and more friends were using del.icio.us, which wasn´t that brilliant at all to my opinion but simply more often used. Most of all I am missing a function which helps you to identify new interesting websites by simply clicking on one button. Moreover delicious doesn´t help to identify “Friends with same interests” like for example Facebook offers with music taste etc.

Now, a year after del.icio.us had its tremendous boom StumbleUpon seems to catch up.

Sometimes websites have strange “careers”: it´s a bit the word of mouth, a bit – of course – media which helps to boost websites, and finally with a little help from one of the big Web 2.0 companies (in this case Ebay´s US$75Mio.) you can do it!

“Knowledge Relationship Discovery” with Google

One of the most important class of applications within the semantic web are services which help users to find out “hidden” relationships between resources like people, concepts or documents.

I´ve been trying out Google Sets from time to time which was an always impressive application to me. You enter one or more members (eg. persons, companies, technologies etc.) from the same class of your choice and Google “predicts” what else could fit into this set.

To me it seems like this service has been improved constantly in the last few months. If you type in just one member of an imaginary class like a person´s name you´ll see that Google has not only categorized search phrases but also knows a lot about social relationships.

http://labs.google.com/sets?hl=en&q1=andreas+blumauer – wow, Google knows a lot about my social network…