When you post a photo of yourself on Facebook, have you ever thought of who owns that photo? Or better yet, if you are at a party, and your friend posts a photo of you, who really owns that image? Is it you, your friend, the Internet Service Provider, or the platform hosting the photo?
This is one of the many new contentious issues of a global nature that has been brought about by the internet, whose development has outpaced international legislation (other issues include the digital divide, broadband access, net neutrality, and global governance of the internet).
The EU sides with the individual on this one, as seen in their their proposed data protection directive, which is intended to be an important component of EU privacy/human rights.
US-based Silicon valley cooperations are against this legislation, and are lobbying hard against it through the US government and the US Chamber of commerce.
Can ownership simultaneous infringe on others freedom of speech or expression? Think of it in an online context. This is a messy issue–especially in the era of big data.