The development of social networking platforms not only provides connections and information sharing among users but also redefined the concept of privacy. The concept of privacy is increasingly less associated with the quantity of information released, but more intently related to what kind of information and how much information the audience can access to. In this context, privacy issues related to using social net became a controversial topic during these days.
On one hand, social networking sites are so popular nowadays. Previous research showed that about 20% of total time spent online is on social media platforms in U.S. (Emily, 2016). Regarding specific platforms, Facebook’s monthly active users in the second quarter of 2016 were up to 1.71 billion while Twitter’s were 313 million during the same period. Research by Beheshti and Makki (2013) supported that the motivation of using social media various from platform to platform. For example, LinkedIn is one of the world’s largest professional network. It attracts users to spend time on the website for the purpose of business networking. For Facebook and Twitter, the purpose of using those platforms is more for leisure (Eagleman, 2013).
Although the motivations of using social media are different, there are several similarities and potential privacy issue among these platforms. Most social platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, acquire users to upload their personal information when they sign up. The personal information includes name, gender, date of birth, nationality, previous schools, working experience, and even the address. Users volunteer to fill in personal information to make a quick connection with former friends or someone who share the same interests. Kryder represented that about 40% Facebook users do not realize that their personal information has high risk be leaked to public through simple mouse action done on social networking site. For instance, when a Facebook user posts a selfie picture taken at home with the feature location default, they may not realize how serious the consequence could be. Some people who have ulterior motives can easily locate their home address by the post (Loeffler, 2012). Even worse, many users especially those are young do not recognize the risks.
Have you ever worried about the privacy issue when you were using the social platform? Why you feel worried about it? Is there any bad thing happened to you or your friends related to privacy issue?
Emily, A. (2016). Social media engagement: the surprising facts about how much time people spend on the major social networks. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/social-media-engagement-statistics-2013-12
Beheshti, K.S., & Makki, B. (2013). Social media news: motivation, purpose and usage. International Journal of Computer Science & Information Technology, 5(2), 97-105. doi:10.5121/ijcsit.2013.5209
Eagleman, A. N. (2013). Acceptance, motivations, and usage of social media as a marketing communications tool amongst employees of sport national governing bodies. Sport Management Review, 16(4), 488.
Loeffler, C. (2012). Privacy issues in Social Media. The IP Litigator : Devoted to Intellectual Property Litigation and Enforcement, 18(5), 12.