Privacy Issues in Social Networking


Section 1

Burrows, M 2010, Legal/Social - Is there a Social Media Law? Retrieved April 6 from
This website focuses on social media regulation by analysing the case of social media control in Australia. Burrows seek to understand the nature of Australian law on social media. In connection to this quest, Burrow asses the current ranging debate regarding the complexity abound the Australian social media law emphasising on the need for an easy to comprehend and apply law.
Burrows offers details of the surveys on the extent of usage of social networking among employees specifically, and related policy and strategic issues that influence use of social networking in workplaces. The article in these contexts assesses the likely risks that organisations face from both employees as well as third parties. As such, Burrows outline an extensive record of aspects likely to be a factor. The article details extensively on the nature of Australian social media use law and focuses particularly on its applicability; by analyzing how it is easily comprehensible among users, developers of social networking tools and policy developers. Important emphasis is also put on organizational level social media policy as a concern due to potential of risk form employees and third parties.
This is an important resource especially to policy developers as it gives an important picture of the basic aspects for any social media law. In my case, it will inform a lot on the various attributes that form the background for social media use and how development should proceed to address the various risks identified. Provision of empirical support makes the website more assertive and hence a credible source.


Bussert, CP 2010, ‘The Social Media Revolution,’ Franchise Law Journal, vol. 29, no. 4, p. 210.
The article addresses the revolutionary trend of the social media in the recent past. This focuses on social networks, as the most favored communication media for most individuals especially the young. In this analysis, the author discusses the emerging social networking tools and their development and their potential for communication and related security concerns.
More specifically, the article focuses on aspects such as the potential for businesses and marketing. The article however, provides a balanced argument by also addressing the likely negative outcomes of this revolution. As such, the article consults ad provides a host of references that provide important additional material regarding the revolution of social networks against the changing demands for franchising businesses especially for both the national an international scope.
Although this paper will contribute to a lot to my general understanding of the trends in the growth of social networks in the recent past, it lacks more solid argument as pertains to its focus. It does not address the issue to significant details as warrant a study in this increasingly vital area. Further, the article does not cite any reference and also fails to present some empirical evidence on the topic. However, it is moderately valuable compared to other studies on the same aspect, especially for an individual seeking to obtain a general understanding of the evolution of social networks overtime.


Debatin, B, Jennette, PL & Ann-Kathrin, HMA, Hughes, BN 2009, ‘Facebook and Online Privacy: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Unintended Consequences,’ Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 83–108. DOI: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2009.01494.x
The peer-reviewed article seek to assesses the awareness among Facebook users about matters of privacy as well as their perceived risks and befits with use of the social networking tools. This seeks to identify user’s privacy-related actions in relation to their understanding of risks and to whom the various privacy invasion risks are usually ascribed to. Furthermore, the authors seek to determine how real experiences of invasion influence privacy measures among individuals. In connection to this, the authors focus on evaluating the factors likely to be possible for the lax attitude that seems to characterise users without real-time experience of privacy invasion.
The potentials with use of Facebook for network building, social interaction and personal expression is evaluated in context of these risks; narrowed down to the visible and invisible factors that are a concern with use of Facebook. A detailed literature review informs this study on various privacy concerns that are prevalent with use of Facebook. They rely on empirical evidence to make these claims. Use of interviews makes the study more authentic and more informative, basing on first hand evidence.
This is a very relevant resource in my media studies since it bases on a number of media theories including the ‘third-person effect’ theory, ‘ritualized media use’ theory and the theory of ‘uses and gratifications’; this will contribute a lot to my review of social networks in from a theoretical basis. They will be important in explaining and contextualizing my findings.


Fogel, J & Nehmad, E 2009, ‘Internet social network communities: Risk taking, trust, and privacy concerns,’ Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 153-160. DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2008.08.006
The authors conduct a study centered on college male female behaviors in use of MySpace and Facebook platforms. Their findings indicate that Facebook has more provision for privacy to MySpace and that the tendency to share personal information over the platform is high. Thus the article asses the extent and nature of danger that social network users are prone to, and why there is a rather loose adherence to stated laws and appropriate precautions. This analysis centered on three important social network use risk factors including privacy, risk taking and trust.
The article emphasises on a number of key aspects that exemplify student and alumni social network use behavior. Fogel and Nehmad make a detailed focus on the social contract model as the theoretical framework for the study; which provides important attributes from which trust, privacy and risk taking behaviors are better understood. A focus on gender influence helps inform on the aspects influencing extent of privacy and risk taking measures adopted.
This study is very vital to my project work as it offers findings from the context of a higher learning, where my study will be focusing on, and hence will be an important reference point especially during my review of literature. The authors provide a list of resources that will form an important basis for my initial literature search, where these will allow me obtain credible sources that address the issues in question significantly. Generally, this is an important resource for school administrators wishing to implement social networking policies within the school context to avoid associated risks.


Livingstone, S & Brake DR 2010, ‘On the Rapid Rise of Social Networking Sites: New Findings and Policy Implications,’ Children & Society, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 75–83. DOI: 10.1111/j.1099-0860.2009.00243.x.
This peer-reviewed article highlights the wide range of capabilities offered by the growing social networks especially to the young people and teenagers across the globe. It assesses the potential of social networks in enhancing the self presentation, relationship building, learning, as well as management of intimacy and privacy issues. The major aim of this article is to emphasise on the importance of digital media literacy, the interdependency between risk and opportunities and more importantly the incorporation of safety aspects into the design and management of social networking tools.
In regards to the growing regulatory and policy concerns, the article focuses on the increasing issues of risks due to use of social networks, especially risk to the self and privacy being an issue of priority. These aspects are put into context through an extensive literature review of recent survey findings on the topic. The article seeks to emphasise on the need for stringent social networks’ safety measures to more specifically address vulnerable children, building on the children rights framework applied in the development of evidence-based policy.
This is an important resource especially to my project work and my studies in general because it centers on policy matters; this will have a significant contribution to my evaluation of the potential of regulation in the control of risks of privacy as an increasing social networking and security concern.


Office of the Privacy minister of Canada 2010, ‘Privacy, Social Networking Sites, and the Canadian Approach: Protecting a Pluralistic Conception of Privacy Through Principle-Based Regulation,’ Paper presented to ITechLaw 2010 World Technology Law Conference, Retrieved April 7 from
This is a government-run website dedicated to analysing the increasingly important issues of privacy with the use of social networks. Apart from providing an overview of the recent proliferation of the social networking sites and related aspects, the article seeks to provide a detailed analysis of the privacy concerns associated with the social networking sites. As such, the website offers an overview, as pertains to the social networks developers’ and users’ obligation to abide by the various predetermined rules established by the government of Canada.
The article discusses the growing changes in preferences as well as constraints that make social networking essential. Advancement in technology is addressed as an important factor in understanding the revolution in social networking as well as putting the growing need for government regulation in context. The website hence centers on how the Canadian government approaches to enhancing social networks regulation. Of importance particularly is the inclusion of a case study into Facebook, which provides and a hands on reference for the various aspect of regulation.
The website pays important attention to what the future holds for the protection of privacy for social networks. This is a very relevant resource generally for everyone, including users, software developers and regulators and policy makers concerned. To my study, the fact that it provides detailed overviews of how issues of privacy are regulated through policy will impact greatly on my knowledge on regulatory compliance.


Timm, DM & Duven, CJ 2008, ‘Privacy and Social Networking Sites,’ New Directions for Student Services, vol. 2008. no. 124, pp. 89-101. DOI: 10.1002/ss.297.
The article addresses the increasing issues of privacy with the increased use of social networking sites. In this regard, the author seeks to investigate into the social networking practices of students in particular, coupled with the analysis of privacy rights online; with the aim of informing software developers on appropriate issues and polices.
The article covers in detail what entails social networking sites as well as their evolution overtime. The author then analyses the important ethical issues and boundaries on the degree of privacy that define use of social networking sites. While recognizing the numerous opinion papers on the negative implication associated with social networks, the article majorly seeks to address the area of empirical evidence on issues related to social networking sites’ privacy and policy aspects. To put these issues into context, the article focuses on various ethical implications that emerge with the use of social networking sites and how privacy relates to this.
This resource is very rich in terms of its analysis on issues of the relationship between social networking privacy, ethics and policy issues. It will contribute to a great extent to my understanding of the ethical implications that may arise with use of social networking sites. It provides substantial discussion of various ethical dilemmas and this provides important expertise to inform my research on this area. Its details on the implication of this analysis to the professionals and therefore is an important eye opener for my further studies in social networking as a communication media.


Utz, S & Kramer, N 2009, ‘The privacy paradox on social network sites revisited: The role of individual characteristics and group norms,’ Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, vol. 3, no. 2, p. 1.
Utz and Kramer assess the tendency of social network sites’ users to disclose their personal informational in detail irrespective of privacy concerns. Major emphasis is thus laid on user’s privacy settings to help identify the security loopholes. In connection to this, the authors seek to unearth major factors that inform individuals’ choice for particular privacy settings; with great emphasis on the tradeoffs between a users’ management of impression and privacy concerns. A contraction of the perceived grouped norms with various dispositional variables factors such as narcissism and trust is detailed.
The study details extensively what constitutes the privacy paradox that has over time been identified through research? This evaluation focuses on an extensive literature review from across research samples and sites in America and Europe. Issues responsible for this paradox are analysed. An online survey indicates that a majority of individuals only protect particular aspects of their privacy but this is also informed by the degree of concern on privacy by individuals.
This research will be very essential to my future project work and my studies in general as it will inform on issues that prompt privacy settings and the use of social networks in relation to the potential for privacy risks. Generally, the study’s background forms a very informative basis for school administrators, managers and policy makers as well, who need to understand these aspects for the purpose of implementing appropriate actions.

Assessment 2


Privacy Issues in Social Networking
Burrows (2010) argues that it will not be wrong to say that the way people communicate with each other has been changed by the emergence of the social networking websites. Social networking websites have been defined as the web based communication systems in which the users create their profiles and share information about each other with the other people. These social networking websites also include the websites as twitter in which the information and news is spread across the circle of followers. This is the rise of the communication portals that has caused an increased in many misconceptions and issues that are to be taken into consideration. It has been argued that there are many benefits of the information sharing mechanism online but there are reasons to believe that there are disadvantages of these portals of information sharing as well. Posting personal information on the social networking websites is now common and in these cases, it has been seen that the users who use these websites are often so consumed by some websites that posting information on these websites seems more fun.
In the case of the social networking websites, it has been argued by Bussert (2010) that the privacy of an individual is an important concept and with a rise in the desire to share information, there is a need to highlight the fact that the privacy of the individuals on these social networking websites is in danger. One of the main concepts that has been seen to be associated with privacy is that without the consent of the person who has posted the information in the social networking website, another person cannot use the information thereby making sure that the person who is posting his information has full control over the information posted. Here one of the main fact that needs highlighting is that when personal information are posted on the social networking websites, than it is seen that the main privacy rights that are held by an individual are given up or diluted by an individual posting the information on the social networking websites. An important fact that needs to be kept in mind by the users of the social networking websites is that they are not only the main communication portals where new people can discuss new topics with the others, but these are the portals of intense private information that has been posted online by the users.
Social Networking Websites and Privacy Issues
The views related to privacy of an individual have been now challenged by the social networking websites and there is a rise of many interesting questions that relate to the fact of privacy. It has been highlighted by Debatin, Jennette, & Ann-Kathrin, and Hughes (2009) that these days the concept of privacy has been so muddled that true facts related to the concept of privacy cannot be found. From here, an interesting argument that has been given is that there are many faces of the concept of privacy and especially in the case when privacy is being argued in relation to the social networking websites.
In some cases, an important fact that is highlighted by Fogel, & Nehmad (2009) is that a person who willingly posts his or her information on the social networking websites should be least concerned about the concept of privacy. The research has highlighted that there are great discrepancies seen in the case of the privacy settings being offered on the social networking websites and the actual privacy concerns of the users. Ana analysis was conducted on the Facebook profiles of more than 4000 students and it was seen that only 1% of the students had changed the default privacy settings. Out of 28000 MySpace profiles, it was seen that only 24% were set to private. These numbers are an average and it is to be kept in mind that with a rise in the number of social networking websites there are far higher number of profiles on the mentioned and other social networking websites that have not been given any private levels.
Posting Private Information and Changes in the Teenage Psychology
In depth, interviews have been conducted with the teenagers and it has been seen that there is an increased concern in these teenagers in relation to their privacy issues. Although concerned, the other studies have shown that these are the same teenagers who are fond of posting their personal information on the social networking websites in a more easy way as compared to the teenagers in the older times. Office of the Privacy minister of Canada (2010) has highlighted that out of the information that is easily posted by the teenagers on the social networking websites, some of the main kinds of information that was regarded as highly private in the previous days and in these days is posted more easily includes religion related information, political stands, income, age and sexual orientations. Based on this an important fact that has been highlighted in relation to privacy is that it is the concept of being left alone and enjoying the autonomy over the information that has been posted on the websites.
Changing the Privacy Settings
Livingstone & Brake (2010) highlights that the privacy settings are offered on the social networking websites and these are the settings that are to be set if the users that include adults and teenagers can hide the personal information that has been posted by them. The privacy settings, as has been argued by the authors, is not a matter of certain capabilities that an individual but in fact of the subjective decisions that are to be made by the individuals. In these cases, the subjective decisions are more influenced by a variety of factors that include privacy concerns and the media coverage. There have been many reports that have highlighted various issues in relation to the rise of social networking websites and the related privacy issues and it has been argued that based on these there will be a recommendation that highlights the fact that there is a need of more restrictive privacy settings on the social networking websites.
Facebook and Privacy Issues
Studies have been conducted on the kinds of privacy flaws that have been seen in the case of the most popular social networking website, Facebook. Privacy International took the privacy settings into investigation and it has been highlighted that a charge was placed against Facebook for having serious privacy flaws. Timm & Duven (2008) highlight that some of the main attributes that were used to test the privacy laws being followed by the social networking websites include data matching, data mining and the fact that there is a policy of Facebook that it will collect data and information about its users from other websites and sources that include news, blogs, instant messaging services and in some cases, the emails. Thereby based on this it has been highlighted that there are serious privacy flaws on Facebook.
Changes Needed: Policy Implications
It has been argued by Utz, & Kramer (2009) that there is a great rise in the number of social networking websites which means that there is a great increase in the number of teenagers, children and adults being fed into these websites. In the rise of the privacy concerns that have been seen in the case of these websites it has been seen that there is a need to make changes that can help in decreasing the rising privacy concerns.
1. It is important that the media literacy is increased. One of the main facts that has been highlighted by the authors is that there is a need that media literacy component is added in the school, college and university teacher’s class lectures so that there is a discussion of the privacy concerns with the students at the school levels. Incorporation of media education has not been taken into consideration by the policy makers based on which there is a great lag in the knowledge of the students as well as the teachers about the sensitive issues in the case of media.
2. The risks of privacy concerns in relation to the social networking websites is not only to be highlighted to the parents and children as there is an increased confusion in the parents and children to have the knowledge about the risk management on social networking websites. Rather than relying on the risk knowledge of the children and parents it is important that the risk knowledge is given to the children, parents and the teenagers so that the knowledge about the privacy concerns can flow in an even manner in the public.
There has been a great rise in the social networking websites, based on which there is a rise in the reports that highlight the privacy flaws on these websites. Teenagers and adults feel compelled to post their personal information on these websites and these are the reasons that the other people use the personal information of users. It is important that awareness about the privacy concerns be increased in social networking websites users.

Burrows, M. (2010). Legal/Social - Is there a Social Media Law?, Date Accessed 29/5/11.
Bussert, C. P. (2010). The Social Media Revolution. Franchise Law Journal 29, no. 4, p. 210.
Debatin, B., Jennette, P. L. & Ann-Kathrin, H. M. A, and Hughes, B. N. (2009). Facebook and Online Privacy: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Unintended Consequences. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 15, pp. 83–108.
Fogel, J. & Nehmad, E. (2009). Internet social network communities: Risk taking, trust, and privacy concerns. Computers in Human Behavior 25, pp. 153-160.
Livingstone, S. & Brake, D. R. (2010). On the Rapid Rise of Social Networking Sites: New Findings and Policy Implication. Children & Society 24, pp. 75–83.
Office of the Privacy minister of Canada (2010). Privacy, Social Networking Sites, and the Canadian Approach: Protecting a Pluralistic Conception of Privacy Through Principle-Based Regulation, Paper presented to ITechLaw 2010 World Technology Law Conference,, Date Accessed 29/5/11.
Timm, D. M., & Duven, C. J. (2008). Privacy and Social Networking Sites. New Directions for Student Services 124, pp. 89-101.
Utz, S., & Kramer, N. (2009). The privacy paradox on social network sites revisited: The role of individual characteristics and group norms. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace 3, no. 2, p. 1



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