Big Brother is no longer just watching. Myspace to start selling user data.

MySpace? What’s MySpace? Oh just a website that we can social network with each other. Instead of calling me, you can now send me a message or post on my comments. Hmmm.. that sounds like something I need to do. Oh great, a new friend request. Let me just update my profile and tell everyone where I live, how old I am and a list of my fears and class schedule.

We all have been there and we all scrolled down through the user agreement, not even caring what it said, and clicked accept. Nobody really realized that when clicking accept, we waived the right to privacy in exchange for free web hosting.

MySpace is now selling your data to third party companies. They have the right to give all your blogs, status updates, age, location and photos. Photos? Wait, I’m a photographer. Does that mean I’ve given up the rights to my images? Yes… yes it does. You still have the rights to your own images, but MySpace now has the legal right to do what they want with them.

As a photographer, I look at this in two different ways. Exposure versus Losing Rights. The advice I give to all new photographers starting out is to post, post, and post. You can be the best photographer in the world but if nobody sees your photos, then who cares and nobody will even know you’re a photographer. I use to post my photos in MySpace and Facebook when I started out. It got everyone interested in my work and let everyone know I was a photographer. Now I only use those sites for status updates when I add new photos and lead them back to my websites. So in the early stages I would risk giving up the rights for exposure but there has to come a time where you stop and build your own portfolio website.

InfoChimps, based out of Texas is one of the companies that MySpace is allowing to sell user data to any company that will drop dollars. The majority of these companies seem to be marketing firms and companies related to the music industry as MySpace has slowly turned into the new band website.

What’s the scariest 4-letter word in the english dictionary? I’ll give you a hint. It’s a 4-letter “F” word, and no, probably not the word you are thinking of. FREE. We hear the word “free” and we all get excited. Very rarely is anything free. Everything comes at a cost, especially in the online world.

Gone are the days when we use to be scared to give any personal information over the internet. Was MySpace and Facebook created on purpose for data collection and tracking? It’s taking time but there seems to be a slow trend of people putting up more and more personal information online. How long before everyone’s credit card information is online?

Source: PCWorld

Written by Jay Perry

Photographer and video game junkie from Canada. Follow me on twitter @jayperryMVM
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