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What does your Facebook say about you?


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This is a presentation from a session given by Lyn Parker and Sheila Webber on 10 June 2008. It was an event of the Information Literacy Network of CILASS (Centre for Inquiry Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences). It includes slides which record points raised by participants in the session, an internal event which took place at Sheffield University.

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What does your Facebook say about you?

  1. 1. What does your Facebook say about you? Issues of privacy and security for students and staff Lyn Parker & Sheila Webber Information Literacy Network event June 2008
  2. 2. Issues • Data privacy • Data protection • Intellectual property (yours & others) • Ethical use of Facebook • Academic vs. social relationships • Should Facebook be used as a teaching tool? 6/10/2008 © The authors
  3. 3. Organisations you care about, or which might be held Your (future) responsible for your actions employers Your identity Organisations making Your actions judgements You & history about you Your creations Your friends and family Rights holders – creators of music, videos, photos etc 6/10/2008 © The authors
  4. 4. “Greater Manchester Police has become one of the first forces in the country to use Facebook to combat crime” 16 April 2008 CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION “I've been speaking with August 6 2007 Dave Evans of the A Facebook cheating ring? Information Commissioner's Office about the issue of What happens on Facebook seldom stays how easy it is to delete on Facebook, so the social networking site would seem like a terrible place to your profile should you organize a cheating ring. But a group of wish to leave Facebook.” students at Cardiff University in Wales Vallance (2008) may have done just that, campus officials say. /leaving_facebook_the_icos_conc.shtml 6/10/2008 © The authors
  5. 5. Applications in/ connecting to Facebook Linking to profile information within Arrington, M. (2008) “He said Facebook she said in Google v. Giving people freedom Facebook.” Techcrunch. 15 to configure their data May. how they like? – or - making Friends even 008/05/15/he-said-she-said-in- more vulnerable? google-v-facebook/ Our data seen as a business asset 6/10/2008 © The authors
  6. 6. Phishing • Email that appears to come from your bank, credit card company, or other trusted organisations. • Counterfeit website • Both contain valid reason for logging in with username and password 6/10/2008 © The authors
  7. 7. Issues from participants’ discussion at event at Sheffield University on 10 June 2008 6/10/2008 © The authors
  8. 8. Changing (use of) learning & communication tools • Speed of access as opposed to (slower) Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) • Students’ speed of response to Facebook communications • Discussion on Facebook rather than discussion groups on VLE (move from VLE by students) • Not technically suitable to support multiple groups • Students no longer using University email account, regulations?! (point also that is useful to have one contact point students know they have to check) • University need a SNS within a closed environment equivalent to Facebook that can use as teaching tool • Some staff felt strongly that Facebook should not be used for teaching (perhaps: for learning but not for teaching?) • Generation gap – what is the next favourite tool? • Plagiarism, collusion versus sharing of ideas; private pages within groups: not necessarily new behaviour, but becomes more visible? 6/10/2008 © The authors
  9. 9. Security/ Privacy • More guidance on privacy needed … • Security, how much information are you sharing about yourself!!! • Beware of forcing people to do it as not closed environment; peer pressure to have to join, miss out if don’t, socially and academically • Since it is not a university-controlled site – no control over data, preservation of information for marking • Legislation issues over hosting country Issues from participants’ discussion (continued) 6/10/2008 © The authors
  10. 10. Academic/social use/roles • Some student opinion: that Facebook is social only, and NOT be used for academic work • Beware of forcing people to do it as not closed environment; though also peer pressure to have to join, miss out if don’t, socially and academically • Should staff be friends with students? Dilemmas occur: whether / when to intervene or comment • What is the staff’s responsibility for monitoring discussion? • Rate my Professor (and other sites with comments on lecturers) – available previously, Facebook is not the only place • What action to take when there are offensive comments about lecturers? Disciplinary; face to face meetings. Issues from participants’ discussion (continued) 6/10/2008 © The authors
  11. 11. Opportunities/ Positive uses… • Ability to think through ideas and research by discussion • Communication with students – including incoming students • Sharing experience including with academics, blurring of boundaries Issues from participants’ discussion (continued) 6/10/2008 © The authors
  12. 12. Examples of using Facebook • Group on “Inclusive Curricula” – 100 students, 5 staff; passionate about topic • Management – Facebook group for 3 different cohorts, posted material but little discussion • CILASS Student Ambassador Network Facebook group, joined but no discussion in group, rather takes place on walls: can be useful for quick decisions • Department of Information Studies – Optional group for 1st years to interact with Canadian students Issues from participants’ discussion (final slide) 6/10/2008 © The authors
  13. 13. Advice and guidelines… …useful but not enough… Coming soon … student produced page with guidance about Facebook! 6/10/2008 © The authors
  14. 14. Ofcom Report on Social Networking April 2008 • Privacy and safety are not ‘top of mind’ for most users • All users, even those confident with ICT, found settings difficult to understand and manipulate 6/10/2008 © The authors
  15. 15. Further discussion points • How to support understanding of issues such as data privacy, identity, intellectual property • How to use Facebook as a tool for developing information literacy skills e.g. sharing and using information • Use of different levels/modes of Facebook e.g. groups without full disclosure 6/10/2008 © The authors
  16. 16. Lyn Parker Sheila Webber 6/10/2008 © The authors
  17. 17. References Get Safe Online Report (2007) Accessed 30th May 2008 Hogben, G. ed. (2007) Security issues and recommendations for online social networks. ENISA Position Paper No. 1. Available from: Accessed 30th May 2008 JISC (2007) Understanding the issues and benefits of social software. Accessed 30th May 2008 Ofcom (2008) Social networking. Accessed 30th May 2008 Russell, E. (2007) The Use of Facebook Functions and the Effect it Has on Other Methods of Communication. MSc dissertation. Sheffield: University of Sheffield Department of Information Studies. 07/External/Russell_Edward_MScIM.pdf 6/10/2008 © The authors