First we will find out if Japanese users really value the sanctity of their data. History tells us that it is actually not very high on the list of concerns when big companies are involved, but very high when you are dealing with small companies. Mixi being about as big as they come in the SNS world may not cause much of a stir, but if this hits the press enough, they may be in for a backlash and a change of priorities from the users.
Second is what Mixi will do with their new found data dictatorship. Could they start using your friend’s images to advertise to you, integrate advertising into user generated content just as Facebook tried to and received a lot of backlash? Could it be just a first step into censorship as they gear up for a push into China?
I will be keeping an eye on how this shapes up… when someone the size of Mixi makes a move like this it is bound to shape the way all the other players do business.