Originally posted on the CFP Community Wiki

At the 2010 ACM Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference,  we drafted, debated, and voted on a Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights, also known as #BillOfRights. Here’s what we came up with

We the users expect social network sites to provide us the following rights in their Terms of Service, Privacy Policies, and implementations of their system:


  1. Honesty: Honor your privacy policy and terms of service
  2. Clarity: Make sure that policies, terms of service, and settings are easy to find and understand
  3. Freedom of speech: Do not delete or modify my data without a clear policy and justification
  4. Empowerment : Support assistive technologies and universal accessibility
  5. Self-protection: Support privacy-enhancing technologies
  6. Data minimization: Minimize the information I am required to provide and share with others
  7. Control: Let me control my data, and don’t facilitate sharing it unless I agree first
  8. Predictability: Obtain my prior consent before significantly changing who can see my data.
  9. Data portability: Make it easy for me to obtain a copy of my data
  10. Protection: Treat my data as securely as your own confidential data unless I choose to share it, and notify me if it is compromised
  11. Right to know: Show me how you are using my data and allow me to see who and what has access to it.
  12. Right to self-define: Let me create more than one identity and use pseudonyms. Do not link them without my permission.
  13. Right to appeal: Allow me to appeal punitive actions
  14. Right to withdraw: Allow me to delete my account, and remove my data


Drafting process

  • Tuesday, 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time: Panel discussion and webcast with the authors of several previous bills of rights.
  • Tuesday night: initial very rough draft posted.
  • Wednesday afternoon: discussions on Twitter and Facebook, sessions at the Unconference
  • Thursday, 5:00 p.m.: Birds of a Feather drafting session
  • Friday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.: Webcast debate and voting

Mike Swift’s ‘Bill of Rights’ for Social Networks Debated in San Jose, in the San Jose Mercury News, describes the drafting process and final debate.  An earlier version, written before the final debate, appeared in the Seattle Times.

It’s time for a Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights and What rights should social network users have? on the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy blog , have more background.

SXSW 2011 session

At the 2011 SXSW conference, Christina Gagnier organized a panel Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights: You Decide.  Alexander Howard moderated, and “We the People” authors Lisa Borodkin and Jack Lerner joined Christina on the panel.  Lisa’s post and Jon Pincus’ What Next for the Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights? have more.

http://snubillofrights.com gave people an opportunity to vote.  The Voting So Far describes the early results: five rights got unanimous approval, and another eight were at 89% or higher.  The one exception: the right to self-define, at about 65%.


  1. A Cyberspace Independence Declaration, John Perry Barlow, February 9, 1996
  2. Call for a Social Networking Bill of Rights, Duncan Work, Planetwork Jornal, July 2004
  3. The Data Bill of Rights, John Battelle, April 25, 2007
  4. A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web, Joseph Smarr et al., Open Social Web, September 5, 2007
  5. Constitutional Convention, free-association.net, 2007-2008
  6. (置顶)呼吁网络公民联署 《网络人权宣言》(更新中 , posted in English as Internet Human Rights Declaration, October 11, 2009
  7. Global Privacy Standards for a Global World, The Madrid Privacy Declaration, November 2, 2009
  8. My Cyberspace Bill of Rights, Jeff Jarvis, The Guardian, March 29, 2010
  9. A Bill of Privacy Rights for Social Network Users, Kurt Opsahl, EFF’s Deep Links blog May 19
  10. A Bill of Rights for Facebook Users, Mark Sullivan, PC World, May 20
  11. We, the users — Facebook users’ bill of rights, Jack Lerner and Lisa Borodkin, SF Gate, May 21
  12. A new Social Networking Bill of Rights, Michael Fertik, Reputation Defender, June 14, 2010