This presentation explores a thesis on the ethics of privacy on online social networks. The purpose of this thesis is to determine the ethical responsibilities of online social networks to protect privacy. Although the social norms of online privacy are in flux, online social networks must employ fair information practices by notifying users when private information is shared. They must give users the opportunity to refuse consent to share information and only use information for its intended purpose. Online social networks have slowly eliminated user control without receiving meaningful user consent to do so, therefore violating the user-service provider relationship. Online social networks have also used choice architecture and design against users to push them in the direction of sharing more information than they would otherwise. By eliminating user control, online social networks have slowly destroyed privacy through unethical means.
*** 2010 Winner of Stanford University's Lyle and Olive Cook Prize for the best Ethics in Society honors thesis ***
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