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  • 1. Running Head: PRIVACY CONCERNS ON FACEBOOK 1 University Literature Review in “Privacy Concerns on Facebook” Assignment # 3 Second edition June 16th, 2014
  • 2. PRIVACY CONCERNS ON FACEBOOK 2 Literature Review Patino, A., Pitta, D. A., & Quinones, R. (2012). Social Media's Emerging Importance in Market Research. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 233-237. Social Media has gained high importance in area of market research, business, and social lives of people. Most firms and consultants make decisions on basis of social networking websites results. Businesses are now using social sites and applications to earn profits by different means, i.e. ads postings, web page discussions, and user focused marketing. These social media websites serve as the means of communication between the businesses and customers. It has also been observed that the effectiveness of traditional marketing and research techniques has been reduced due to social media. However, the advancements in social networking has also led various privacy issues (Patino, Pitta, & Quinones, 2012). Linklaters. (2014). Social Media and the Law: A Handbook for UK Companies. LinklatersLLP. According to the Linklaters (2014) report, growth of social networking has been significantly increased in past few years. Facebook users have been increased up to 1.2 billion in the last 10 years, i.e. fifth of the world population. Similarly, Twitter was launched in 2006, but in just few years, its number of users has grown up to 230 million users. LinkedIn also has more than 259 million users all over the world. In addition to the individual accounts, the growth has also been observed in the Facebook pages of the companies. Most companies today deal with the customers by means of social networking sites.
  • 3. PRIVACY CONCERNS ON FACEBOOK 3 Lloyd's. (2011, Mar 11). The Emerging Risks of Social Networking. Retrieved from Lloyd's: http://www.lloyds.com/news-and-insight/news-and-features/emerging-risk/emerging- risk-2011/the-emerging-risks-of-social-networking Recent reports by Deloitte found that firms using social networking sites for research and marketing are at higher risk than other organizations following traditional means. Moreover, these new techniques of business marketing are not yet clear; neither any written policies have been developed for social networks. It was surveyed and found out that about 43% of health sciences firms had no guidelines or policies for managing adverse events. Other risks involved are intellectual property infringement, sharing of personal information, and so on (Lloyd's, 2011). Linklaters. (2014). Social Media and the Law: A Handbook for UK Companies. LinklatersLLP. It is though difficult to control privacy issues in social networking sites but still certain policies and strategies can help reducing these issues. First, social networks should keep its users well informed about the privacy standard. They should know how secure is their personal information and what the owners are doing with this data. If any personal information of the users is forwarded to third party or for any other purpose, it should be in notice of the users. This information can only be used with the consent of the users. Moreover, provide users with an easy way to understand security polices and steps to implement them (Linklaters, 2014). Linklaters. (2014). Social Media and the Law: A Handbook for UK Companies. LinklatersLLP. An organization is responsible for implementation of data protection legislation and therefore, it must take consistent measures to secure data especially users’ personal information. This personal information is of high interest for the criminals as they can use this data in identity
  • 4. PRIVACY CONCERNS ON FACEBOOK 4 fraud and other criminal activities. In 2011, Sony’s PlayStation Network was hacked and personal information of 77 million customers was leaked. This cost around $1.25 billion loss to the company (Linklaters, 2014). Batorski, D. (2012). The Burden of Big Data. Most of the social media websites generate a large amount of data daily. Facebook generates 500 terabytes of information in a day. This information is a fertile ground for the analysis of Big Data. Similarly, Google also generates hug amount of data on regular basis. Google and Facebook use this big data by creating data profile of each user who visits the same day. This information is recorded, and the relevant ads of their interest are posted on their page. This profile is incredibly valuable for marketing purposes. Most of the small and large businesses make a contract with the social networking websites and pay them for posting their ad on the page of concerned users. Similarly, Government Agencies also use services of social networking websites to collect information about the citizens and other purposes (Batorski, 2012). Semitsu, J. (2011). From Facebook to Mug Shot: How the Dearth of Social Networking Privacy Rights Revolutionized Online Government Surveillance. Social Science Research Network. Government agencies and local authorities also use Facebook information to investigate crimes and collect evidences. These agencies collect information like location, motives, and other demographic information. At times, these agencies also get an access to the communications to collect deep information. Facebook has not restricted profiles from Government Agencies, and that renders doubt in minds of users regarding privacy (Semitsu, 2011).
  • 5. PRIVACY CONCERNS ON FACEBOOK 5 Kirkpatrick, D. (2010). The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World. 191. Social Networking websites like Facebook and Twitter are rapidly gaining popularity. These websites provide a platform to people around the world to connect with each other and eliminate distances. However, these services are also carrying critical user privacy issues along with them. Hull, Lipford, and Latulipe (2011) studied two new features of Facebook, News Feed and Applications. News Feed that appeared on Facebook page of every user in 2006 had experience various issues. It displays recent activities of other Facebook friends. The similar kind of feature, i.e. MiniFeed was also introduced during the same time. It keeps log of similar kind of events on every user’s profile. Newsfeed was given an access to various posts and pictures of friends of friends. Similarly, in case of Applications, when the user access any application, he/she not only invisibly shares personal information, but a friend’s information as well with third party. Large number of users reacted on this issue and for this reason, and Facebook introduced new privacy features. In May 2010, the control was given to the users by which they could choose options to enable to disable, which information to broadcast in News Feed. It also added various new privacy controls, i.e. to manage access to selective status updates, photos, and other posts (Kirkpatrick, 2010). Milian, M. (2011, June 9). Facebook lets users opt out facial recognition. Retrieved from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TECH/social.media/06/07/facebook.facial.recognition/ In June 2011, Facebook introduced new feature that is automatic facial recognition. The facial recognition while tagging a friend has also engendered various privacy issues. It gives tag suggestions by comparing it with photos of friends that they have recently uploaded. This feature access friend’s photos even if they have set it private. This issue raised large number of
  • 6. PRIVACY CONCERNS ON FACEBOOK 6 complaints. Data protection officials also complained that this feature is activated without the consent of the user. For this reason, Facebook introduced privacy feature by which users can disable this option. However, the privacy issue is still there (Milian, 2011). Woollaston, V. (2013, September 18). Facebook users are committing 'virtual identity suicide' in droves and quitting the site over privacy and addiction fears. Retrieved from Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2423713/Facebook-users-committing-virtual- identity-suicide-quitting-site-droves-privacy-addiction-fears.html Many users report that they experience glitches during the use of Facebook. It has been observed at times that any post get visible even after setting it to private. An incident occurred in May 2010, unauthorized users got an access to private chat logs of their friends on Facebook. Though, such bugs are fixed quickly, but lots of information may get leaked in just few hours of time (Wortham, 2010). Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. (2010, June). Fact Sheet 35: Social Networking Privacy: How to be Safe, Secure, and Social. Retrieved from Privacy Rights : https://www.privacyrights.org/social-networking-privacy-how-be-safe-secure-and-social Users’ personal information on the social networks like Facebook may also be accessed through electronic tracking. It was found by the AT&T Labs and Worester Polytechnic Institute, there is a unique identifying code that is assigned to users by social networks. This code can be matched with behavior of particular user found through cookies, and thus, profile can be built using information of his/her browsing habits. For this purpose, social networks have introduced various techniques and codes to improve the level of security (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 2010).
  • 7. PRIVACY CONCERNS ON FACEBOOK 7 Liu, Y., Gummadi, K. P., Krishnamurthy, B., & Mislove, A. (2011). Analyzing Facebook Privacy Settings: User Expectations Vs. Reality. IMC '11 Proceedings of the 2011 ACM SIGCOMM conference on Internet measurement conference , (pp. 61-70). New York. Liu, Gummadi, Krishnamurthy, and Mislove (2011) studied 200 Facebook users to study the actual privacy settings that users experience. It was found that 36% of the content remained shared using the default privacy settings, and only 37% of the privacy settings match with the users’ expectations. It most of the time expose content to more people that expected. This study shows that either there are flaws in the privacy settings of the Facebook or people don’t understand the correct implementation of these settings. Woollaston, V. (2013, September 18). Facebook users are committing 'virtual identity suicide' in droves and quitting the site over privacy and addiction fears. Retrieved from Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2423713/Facebook-users-committing-virtual- identity-suicide-quitting-site-droves-privacy-addiction-fears.html According to some recent studies, it has been observed that Facebook users are quitting with social network websites due to increasing concerns of privacy. The researchers of Vienna analyzed 600 people that found that among various reasons of why people are deleting or inactivating their Facebook accounts, one is data protection issues. According to Eircom B&A Survey 2013, 48.3 per cent users quit Facebook due to privacy concerns, 13.5 per cent due to general dissatisfaction, 12.6 per cent due to shallow conversations, and 6 per cent due to fear of becoming addicted (Woollaston, 2013).
  • 8. PRIVACY CONCERNS ON FACEBOOK 8 Esguerra, R. (2010, April 28). A Handy Facebook-to-English Translator. Retrieved from Electronic Frontier Foundation: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/handy-facebook-english- translator Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2010 identified two techniques of personal information aggregation that are instant personalization and connections. It was demonstrated that information is saved with an intention of not making it public, even then anyone can get an access to that particular information. Facebook user connection is made with the post or else on just clicking “Like” button, even if it is done on Facebook website or an external link. Facebook considers this relationship as public information and for this reason, it may display user’s identity on the Facebook page of a friend or any product/service page (Esguerra, 2010). Esguerra, R. (2010, April 28). A Handy Facebook-to-English Translator. Retrieved from Electronic Frontier Foundation: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/handy-facebook-english- translator Similarly, instant personalization links up Facebook information with certain affiliated website. For example, a music website that is linked with Facebook, shares a user’s list of “liked” bands and thus help users to automatically get the playlist of preferred songs. However, Electronic Frontier Foundation found that instant personalization opens a way to data leakage. When the user visits the website in the pilot program, it accesses your current location, picture, name, friend list, and pages that you have liked. A user who opts out of instant personalization is still not safe from the data leakage, if his/her friends are using it. Because, such instant personalization websites also access friends list information and anything that Facebook has set as public. A user can only be safe from data leakage if these websites are blocked individually.
  • 9. PRIVACY CONCERNS ON FACEBOOK 9 These settings are quite confusing for the common person, and therefore, Facebook must explain it in easy terms (Esguerra, 2010).

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