Last fall Joseph Smarr, Chief Platform Architect for Plaxo, posted a proposed Bill of Rights for users of the social web that he had co-authored along with Marc Canter, CEO of Broadband Mechanics. Tech heavyweights Michael Arrington and Robert Scoble soon signed on as well. The main tenets of the bill are ownership of our personal information, control of how this personal information is used and the freedom to grant persistent access to this info.
Looking at this from a digital automotive perspective, Ben Bloom proposes the following four Open Social principles for vehicle telematics providers.
- Vehicle location data, as recorded by the vehicle and transmitted to an online site or service, should remain the property of the driver
Implication: If Honda builds a site that shows a driver’s path through town, the driver must be allowed to remove some or all of this “history” or archive it at a time and to a place of his or her choosing.
- Vehicle location data must not be used for any purpose without the user’s consent; each new use by a second or third party would require such consent
Implication: At the beginning of a telematics data relationship, drivers must be able to opt out of any marketing programs that use their location information and must be given reasonable opportunities to object to the use of the data for marketing purposes.
- Drivers must be able to direct the wholesale transfer of their data to another party
Implication: Services storing telematics data must also have an open, standard method for authorized access — including copying and deletion — to this data by external services. If the automaker’s site isn’t satisfying a driver’s needs, he or she should be free to switch without impairment.
- The manufacturer must create and publish APIs for the purpose of accessing and extending such data
Implication: If, for example, TomTom and Chevrolet records this information, they must also provide a means for drivers to feed it into their social networks of choice, such as a dating site, weather service or personal blog.