Background .:Introduction:. Facebook is regarded as the most popular social networking site over the World Wide Web. It has over 200 million registered users worldwide (Federal Trade Commission, 2009). As a social networking tool, it has revolutionized the way we communicate and how we share information (Denmead, 2009). However, the availability of personal information over the network do raises some concerns about the privacy and consent of users within Facebook.
Concerns and Issues .:Privacy Issues:. At present, privacy over the Internet raises some concerns when it comes to sharing sensitive material such as images or text within a network (Fox, 2008). If these materials are made available to the general public, it can lead to problems such as identity theft, defamation or use of material without the knowledge and consent of the owner (Denham, 2009). Facebook has such concerns. End users are not well informed on the extent to how their materials are being used.
Concerns and Issues .:DOB (date of birth):. DO YOU LIKE HAVING YOUR INFORMATION SHARED WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT?
Facebook does not provide the difference between, profile information and registration information, as even ‘hidden’ DOB information within public profiles can still be used for advertisement purposes or third party application developers (Denmead, 2009).
Concerns and Issues .:Privacy Settings (default):. FACEBOOK PRIVACY SETTINGS ARE INADEQUATE!
Facebook does not provide information that sensitive material can be shared under the ‘default setting’ option.
No information is provided to the users that by not changing the default setting is an acceptance of the setting determined by the service.
New users are unaware that under default settings, sensitive information is open to everyone within the network (Denmead, 2009)
Concerns and Issues .:Facebook Advertising:. DOES FACEBOOK ENCOURAGE SPAMMING?
Facebook does not inform users when personal sensitive information has been
used for marketing and advertising purposes (Lenhart & Madden, 2007).
All users receive advertisements generated by the service and have no choice to prevent it (spam) (Denham, 2009)
Social ad- by the user’s actions within the service, an ad can be generated by using personal information and making it available to everyone within the network.
Concerns and Issues .:Third party applications:. IS YOUR CONSENT IMPORTANT TO FACEBOOK AND ITS DEVELOPERS? Facebook provides inadequate information to the users about the reason for providing information to third-party developers. When a user deletes the application, all sensitive information for the exception of contact details is still kept by the developers. Facebook also does not inform users the extent of the information being provided as well as how third parties intend to make use of such data(Jones & Soltren, 2005).
Concerns and Issues .:Accounts:. DEACTIVATED? THINK AGAIN. When a user chooses to deactivate their account, Facebook keeps all the personal information for an indefinite period. Thus a user, having no specific time frame for reactivation and no information is made available to them when suspending the account. While pending the reactivation of the account, information stored is still used by the service and third party application developers for example. Thus a non active user still has its information being shared around ( Grimmelmann, 2009).
Concerns and Issues .:Personal information of non users:. DECEIVED BY YOUR FRIENDS? When an image is uploaded in Facebook, a user can ‘tag’ the photo by providing the real name of a non user. The non user is thereafter informed by Facebook but if the non user wishes that their information is removed from the image, they can only do so by joining the service. Also, by tagging an image and providing contact address of the non users to Facebook, a user openly reveals private information (Stone, Zickler & Darell, 2008).
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