This week has marked the launch of similar schemes from three web giants that could mean more of our personal information splashed across the wider web.

In a nutshell, the three services - all in differing stages of development - will eventually allow users of social networking sites to add their profiles - and therefore personal info and identifying photo - to other websites that aren't traditional social networks.

MySpace was the first with Data Availability that sees MySpace members now be able to share their profile with Yahoo, eBay, Photobucket, and Twitter.

Facebook followed up with Connect that lets Facebookers connect their account with any partner website, appearing as their "real identity" including basic profile info, profile pic, friends and photos and hot on its tail was Google with Friend Connect.

Social networking is a hot concept on the web right now and it makes sense for these platforms to extend their reach to wider sites - as it does for the partner sites who benefit from increased traffic and loyalty as a result - but I think you have to question the value it offers you, the user.

Will you really get more out an an e-commerce site because you can contact your friends through it? Will having your personal picture on a partner site really please you that much? Are these kind of features, that I think can be described as novelty at best, really worth extending where on the web your personal information appears? Do you really trust these sites to competently manage the farming out of your personal info?

We are already putting more and more personal information online, at a frightening rate according to some commentators who believe there will be a "data hangover" in years to come when we regret what we have posted online, assuming at the time it was reaching friendly eyes, but not considering the long-term impact of what posting all these personal, and private things about ourselves could one day mean.

Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and the like are so easy to use, and seem such friendly online worlds, that posting information and photos does not seem to be the big deal that perhaps it should.

You would not instantly give someone you'd just met in a pub your email address, phone number, work information, details of what schools you attended, what events you are planning to go to in the near future and show them photo albums from your recent hols, but with these sites that is effectively what you are doing, and trusting the sites to keep the info secure for you.

Taking Facebook as an example, the social utility has had more than its fair share of privacy scandals, including the much-maligned Beacon scheme that flagged up user's online purchases without them realising it, but that's not the only problem with the site - users have reported how near impossible it is to get your data removed once you decide you no longer want to be involved in online social networking.

Take this idea of trying to get your profile removed, and multiply it by however many sites you have joined up with via these Connect-style services and, although at least in the case of Facebook, privacy controls will be handled centrally for all sites, I don't believe that removing all personal traces of you across the web through these kind of schemes will be easy - and certainly not worth the risk for the meagre benefits it affords the user.