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Press Release

Facebook vs. Data Portability: Who Owns an Individual’s Data? Supreme Court asked to Decide

Power Ventures’ Eight-Year Battle to Let Users Own their Personal Data Seeks to Provide Same Rights that Mobile Phone Users Alre

Washington - March, 2017 - Power Ventures, creators of a third-party platform designed to organize all of one’s social networking data in once place, today announced its petition for the Supreme Court to decide an eight-year-old dispute with Facebook on the issue of data portability, i.e.,  who owns an individual's data. Power Ventures CEO Steve Vachani is at the center of the dispute stemming from his former web dashboard Power.com, which allowed users to control all of their social networks from a central location. The case previously went to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed prior claims that Vachani violated the CAN SPAM Act and the CFAA. Now, the case is headed to Supreme Court to settle once and for all who owns personal data placed on third-party providers.

“The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recognized that we were completely authorized in our initial user authorization and that the only remaining issue is to resolve whose authorization mattered once a cease and desist notice was sent,” said Vachani “We consider this recognition a progressive move toward the overall goal of establishing users’ rights to data portability.”

Power.com proved to be an appealing venture before Facebook sought to shut it down. According to Vachani, the site peaked at roughly 20 million users and without obstruction from most of the popular social networking sites– all except for Facebook. Now, this case is likely to set a legal precedent that could potentially impact every Internet user.

“Data portability is the most important digital issue of our time and the determination of who truly owns your online presence will be crucial to the growth and economics of our digital culture,” said Vachani. “Users give hours daily to social networking and few really understand the nuances of term and usage agreements. My goal in making this case is to stand up for the user and finally resolve the issue of access, ownership and control of online data without obstruction.”

For more information on the Facebook v. Power Ventures case, please visit: https://www.slideshare.net/vachani1/power-ventures-inc-and-steven-vachani-vs-facebook-supreme-court-petition-for-writ-of-certiorari

Power currently has support of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) https://www.eff.org/document/facebook-v-power-ventures-eff-aclu-amicus-brief and is currently seeking and expects a wide spectrum of additional civil liberties, human rights, and constitutional rights groups to join its Supreme Court battle and weigh in its favor stating in its petition that ‘Data portability is a burgeoning policy concern of our time, as underscored by a recent report issued by the European Commission’s Directorate General Justice and Consumers. (See Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, Guidelines on the Right to Data Portability (Dec. 13, 2016), available at http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/image/document/2016-51/wp242_en_40852.pdf).

About Power Ventures (formerly operating as Power.com)


From 2006 to 2011, Power Ventures operated a groundbreaking online communications, personal data management, and social networking aggregator hosted at the website www.power.com. Power offered registered users the capacity to access multiple online social networks (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter), messaging services (e.g., Microsoft messenger—MSN), and email accounts (e.g., Google mail) through a single, integrated online interface consisting of a digital dashboard and browser. This online interface also featured popular add-in applications like a unified address book and mailbox integrating all of a user’s contacts, emails, social network messages, and instant messages in one place. The interface additionally enabled Power users to move files between different accounts with a click-and-drag function, like a user moves folders on an AppleOS or Microsoft Windows desktop.

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel is a Tech blogger and Enterprise Media Consultant in Silicon Valley and Paris, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. She is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. She mainly writes about Blockchain, Enterprise, B2B solutions, social media and open source software, but throws the occasional oddball into the mix. Tip her if you like her articles: http://xeniar.tip.me

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