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  1. 1. Communication Privacy Management Theory
  2. 2. Communication privacy management theory (CPM) states that individuals own their private information and control what information is concealed or revealed (Bridge & Schrodt, 2013). To manage their information, people construct privacy boundaries that “protect private information, ensuring it is unknown to others until the boundary is opened or made permeable” (McManus & Nussbaum, 2013, p. 197). To control these boundaries, every individual creates privacy rules to determine how and when to disclose private information. What is it?
  3. 3. There are five core principles of CPM. First, people believe that they own their private information, and therefore have a right to control such information. Second, people construct and use privacy rules to guide their sharing and concealing of private information. Third, when others gain access to a person’s private information, they become co-owners of that information. Fourth, co-owners of information need to negotiate mutually agreeable privacy rules and boundaries about telling others this information. Fifth, when privacy rules and boundaries are not sufficiently discussed between the co-owners of information, turbulence occurs (Tenzek, et al., 2013). What is it?
  4. 4. Developed by Sandra Petronio in 2002, CPM applies to multiple areas of communication studies. This theory is used in health communication as a guideline for disclosing medical diagnoses, and has recently been applied to online social media as scholars investigate Facebook usage and privacy. However, CPM is primarily used to study family communication (Petronio, 2013).
  5. 5. CPM is praised for its applicability, as it is “a practical theory constructed to ... understand everyday problems and events that people encounter in families” (Toller & McBride, 2013, p. 34). CPM provides guidelines that individuals use when revealing and concealing their private information, and this theory helps families discuss difficult personal topics such as … Child abuse Sexual orientation So what?
  6. 6. Death InfidelitySo what? CPM suggests that every individual experiences tension between revealing and concealing private information (Tenzek, Herrman, May, Feiner, & Allen, 2013, p. 328). While sharing information indicates trust and intimacy, some topics are “difficult and uncomfortable for the speaker to discuss and/or for the recipient to hear” because they are hurtful, inappropriate, and/or stressful (McManus & Nussbaum, 2013, p. 197). By following the privacy rules of CPM, individuals can alleviate this tension and determine their best strategy for disclosure.
  7. 7. As CPM was developed in 2002, it is still a new communication theory that Petronio continues to revise, refine, and expand. A common criticism of CPM is that the theory does not suggest how to repair breaches of privacy. While the theory states that turbulence occurs when privacy boundaries are not adequately discussed between co-owners of information, Petronio does not explain how to overcome and mend such turbulence (Plander, 2013). Furthermore, the theory offers little explanation behind its principles and framework, and many scholars believe that more research needs to be done to demonstrate its consistency (Plander, 2013).
  8. 8. CPM asserts that privacy rules are socially learned and influenced by culture and gender. Most individuals first construct their privacy rules through the family because “parents and family members are often the first teachers of the concept of privacy” (Serewicz, 2013, p. 2). Parents teach their children what information can be shared and what information should be kept private (i.e., nudity, family finances). As individuals grow and mature, their privacy rules evolve to reflect their peers, school, the media, and other social influences. For example, when an individual begins a new job or joins an organization, they very quickly learn the appropriate privacy rules and boundaries that they are expected to follow. Presenter’s Choice
  9. 9. References Antique envelope [Photograph]. (2005). Retrieved July 2, 2013 from: Bridge, M. C., & Schrodt, P. (2013). Privacy orientations as a function of family communication patterns. Communication Reports, 26(1), 1-12. doi: 10.1080/08934215.2013.773054 Clarke, A. (Photographer). 3_8 [Photograph]. (2007). Retrieved July 3, 2013 from: 50555053@N00/414607192 Gajownik, L. (Photographer). Secrets [Photograph]. (2013) Retrieved July 6, 2013 from: 8608707816/ Huba, M. (Photographer). Whispering hope [Photograph]. (2008). Retrieved July 6, 2013 from: 56217767@N00/2435736761/
  10. 10. References Julemiddag [Photograph]. (2011). Retrieved July 2, 2013 from: Leroyer, P. (Photographer). Kiss in [Photograph]. 2010. Retrieved July 3, 2013 from: photos/52499764@N00/4362904430/ McManus, T. G., & Nussbaum, J. F. (2013). Topic valence and ambiguity in parent-emerging adult child postdivorce discussions. Communication Studies, 64(2), 195-217. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2011.646085 Petronio, S. (2013). Brief status report on communication privacy management theory. Journal of Family Communication, 13(1), 6-14. doi: 10.1080/15267431.2013.743426
  11. 11. References Plander, K. L. (2013). Checking accounts: Communication privacy management in familial financial caregiving. Journal of Family Communication, 13(1), 17-31. doi: 10.1080/15267431.2012.742090 Serewicz, M. C. M. (2013). Introducing the special issue on communication privacy management theory and family privacy regulation. Journal of Family Communication, 13(1), 2-5. doi: 10.1080/15267431.2013.743424 Sevillano, H. (Photographer). Faces 5 [Photograph]. (2012). Retrieved July 2, 2013 from: 40117184@N03/7644606940/ Tenzek, K. E., Herman, A. R., May, A. R, Feiner, B., & Allen, B. (2013). Examining the impact of parental disclosure of HIV on children: A meta-analysis. Western Journal of Communication, 77(3), 323-339. doi: 10.1080/10570314.2012.719092
  12. 12. References Toller, P. W., & McBride, M. C. (2013). Enacting privacy rules and protecting disclosure recipients: Parents' communication with children following the death of a family member. Journal of Family Communication, 13(1), 32-45. doi: 10.1080/15267431.2012.742091 Tyson, D. (Photographer). Out with a smile [Photograph]. (2006) Retrieved July 3, 2013 from: 16231096@N00/126602163/ When I grow up [Photograph]. (2006). Retrieved July 3, 2013 from: