Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Who Owns the Data and Files on Yours Customers

I like the Twitter and former Flickr terms of use wording. More or less "What's yours is yours. You are responsible for it."

If you take a picture and upload it to Flickr, you own it - not Flickr.

If you upload the same picture with an application to an insurance company, they will tell you clearly they own it and they may, if they feel like it, let you view it, and maybe download it.

If you upload the same picture to most insurance agency management systems, they will tell you that you own it, but if you want to stop paying them a monthly fee, they will certainly take away your only means to ever see it again. Seems like they own it to me.

This is the question behind the current discussion o data portability.

Captive data has long been the main reason many software companies make money over time. Why do we keep falling for this?

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