First off, let’s start with Orkut’s Terms of Service:
bq. By submitting, posting or displaying any Materials on or through the orkut.com service, you automatically grant to us a worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicenseable, transferable, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right to copy, distribute, create derivative works of, publicly perform and display such Materials.
I’ll leave to the lawyers to interpret the legal meaning of this – instead I’ll make my own, quick interpretation: Orkut wants to use any information I submit to the service in any way they please, including distributing it to third parties, or display it publicly. Such information may include, but is not limited to:
* Full name
* E-mail address
* Phone numbers
* IM[Instant Messenger] information
* Postal Address
* Relationship status / children.
* Sexual orientation
* Political view
* Drinking habits/preferences
* Hobbies and interests
Other information that’s implicitly is collected is the relations you have/create within the Orkut network, e.g. who your friends are. These friends may also submit information revealing similar information about themselves.
Viewing the ToS alone, I would not feel too comfortable giving up this information. Under Norwegian law, any entity who wanted to collect this information would need a licence from the Norwegian “Data Inspectorate “:http://www.datatilsynet.no/ to collect and store this information – a permission they would very likely not receive (you really _do_ need a particularily good reason to collect information on amongst others an individuals ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and political orientation). But I digress, Orkut is a Californian business entity and is governed by Californian Law.
Further, orkut reserves the right to transfer any and all information about you to anywhere in the world:
bq. Personal information collected on this site may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which orkut.com or Google, Inc. or agents maintain facilities, and by using this site, you consent to any such transfer of information outside of your country.
I am still not a lawyer, but I’ll read my interpretation into this: While your initial agreement with orkut may be governed by US/Californian law, you agree that orkut may transfer your information to any country in the world, regardless of the legal system in that country.
I won’t be accepting my orkut invitation anytime soon. Neither should you.
Related: digme:blogg: gratisprisen (Norwegian).