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Identity Security And Privacy Media

Essay add: 31-10-2017, 18:59   /   Views: 15

Popular press coverage of social networking sites has stressed likely privacy concerns, principally regarding the safety of the younger users. researchers have explored the possible risks associated with using social networking sites. in one of the early academic studies of social networking sites and privacy, Gross and Acquisti (2005) outlined the possible risks to privacy enclosed in the personal details available on the Facebook profiles used by 4,000 Carnegie Mellon University students. they analysed the potential risk of the capability of viewers reconstructing the students social security numbers using the information readily accessible from their profile pages, for example, their date of birth as well as their home towns. Acquisti and Gross (2006) also stated that 'there is often a disconnect between student's desire to protect privacy and their behaviours.' A theme that is also explored in Barnes's (2006) explanation of the privacy paradox that takes place when young people are not fully aware of the open nature of the world wide web, along with Strutzman's (2006) review of Facebook users.

In investigating trust within social network sites, Dwyer and colleagues (et al., 2007) say that 'trust and usage goals may affect what people are willing to share -Facebook users expressed greater trust in Facebook than MySpace users did in MySpace and thus were more willing to share information on the site.' moreover, it was found through Pew research that 55% young people online have profiles, 66% of those have said that their profiles online are restricted and not visible to all. Of the remaining young people with unrestricted profiles; 46% said that their profiles contained some artificial information (Lenhart & Madden, 2007)

privacy is also concerned in the users capability to manage impressions and control social contexts.As Boyd and Ellison (2007) point out, 'Facebook's introduction of the News Feed feature disrupted user's sense of control, evn though data exposed through the fed were previously accessible.'

Furthermore, Preibush (et al., 2007) claim 'the privacy options offered by social networking sites do not provide users with the flexibility they need to handle conflicts with friends who have different conceptions of privacy.'

social networking sites are also questioning the legal notions of privacy. Hodge (2006) claims that 'the fourth amendement to the U.S. Constitution and legal descisions concertning privacy are not equipped to address social networking sites.' For instance, are police officials entitled to access content that has been posted on Facebook by users without a warrant? the authority depends on the users of such sites and their expectation and view of whether or not profiles online are deemed to be private or public.

Studies have suggested that popular perceptions around sexual predators on social networking sites are deceptive. Cases of sexual predators luring young people are rare (Finkelhor, et al., 2007).

However, much can be done to prevent users putting themselves at risk. youngsters in particular feel invincible when on the web. young girls think there is little risk of posting profiles together with images of themselves that are sexually provoking, along with making their personal details comprising of their names, address and often the school that they attend, readily accessible to all. the high potential risk came to light after a key invstigation conducted by Ofcom (Revoir, 2008). The investigation of communications found that most parents were unaware of their childrens activities online, often out of touch with what they were doing and what their intentions were. A spokesman for the childs exploitation and online protection centre said, "Where children go, sex offenders will follow. the first step is getting parents to acknowledge and understand the risk." officials have become anxious by the evidence that paedophiles have access to social networking sites and are able to identify possible future victims. they take on bogus identities, posting photos of young people to lure their victims. Last year MySpace had admitted it had discovered and removed 29,000 registered U.S. sex offenders(Oldham, 2008). also in 2007, a paedophine had been sent to jail after taking part in underage sex with a young girl he had acquainted himself with using the social networking site Facebook (Revoir, 2008)

On 8th January 2010, Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg made the following statement; "People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time." (Kirkpatrick, 2010). The above comment came shortly after users were prompted to reconsider their privacy settings in December 2009. Using profile data of an entire college cohort, Lewis and Colleagues (2008) found three predictors of changing privacy settings. 'A student is significantly more likely to have a private profile if (1) the student's friends, and especially roommates, have private profiles; (2) the student is more active on facebook; and (3) the student is female.'

On 8th January 2010, Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg made the following statement; "People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time." (Kirkpatrick, 2010). The above comment came shortly after users were prompted to reconsider their privacy settings in December 2009. Using profile data of an entire college cohort, Lewis and Colleagues (2008) found three predictors of changing privacy settings. 'A student is significantly more likely to have a private profile if (1) the student's friends, and especially roommates, have private profiles; (2) the student is more active on facebook; and (3) the student is female.'

Raynes-Goldie (2010) argues that 'social privacy is typically of greater concern to people than institutional privacy.' In other words, users are more concerned about being exposed to people that they know than having their data accessed by governments and corporations. the teenagers that Boyd (2008) interviewed in her study of teen sociality in networked publics reported similar properties, notably that they were more concerned about people who held immediate similar priorities, notably that they were more concerned about people who held immediate power over them -parents, teachers, college admissions officers -than abstract authorities.

Starting in 2004, MySpace was extremely popular among youth, but in 2005, the news media fuelled popular fears about the possibilities of meeting strangers online, which likely contributed to many users leaving the site; this prompted a moral panic or, more precisely according to Marwick (2008) a 'technopanic'. the cultural anxieties that unfolded emphasised that young girls were especially at risk on MySpace where online predators were perceived to be pervasive (Cassel and Cramer, 2007). the logic was that visibility alone would put girls at risk of being targeted by predatory men. Given these fears, Lewis and colleagues (2008) hypothesized that 'safety concerns might explain why women are more likely to restrict access to their profiles than men.'

When looking at Privacy settings Boyd's (2010) study found that those who are more engaged on Facebook are more likely to modify their privacy settings more frequently.

Fig.2

Experiences with Facebook and its privacy settings by level of engagement on social network sites

Privacy settings changed

Never or once

Twice or daily

Checking people's status updates

Daily

33%

67%

Less often

47%

53%

Posting a status update

Daily

27%

73%

Less often

43%

57%

Commenting on a close friend's status update

Daily

36%

74%

Less often

43%

57%

The above table (Fig.2) breaks down the frequency of changing Facebook privacy settings by how frequently respondents check people's status updates, post their own status updates and comment on their friends' updates. whether posting a status update or commenting on a friends' update, those who are regularly engaged in content, contributing activities on facebook are more likely to modify their settings than those who share on the site less frequently. this makes sense given that those who regularly post content may be more conscious of their audience, i.e. who might see the content they are publishing and also how this content might be perceived.

The connection between regularly posting content on facebook and adjusting privacy settings highlights the interplay between privacy and content; privacy settings are especially useful to those who are sharing information so that they can manage who gets access to what information. as sociologists have long shown, controling social situations and focusing impression management necessitate understanding ones own audience (Goffman, 1959). in a mediated environment where one's audience is not easily understood, privacy settings can be used to control and manage one's audience.

Furthermore, Facebook has not only been in the spotlight in terms of privacy and security fears, it has also been used as a platform by officials in the fight against crime. FBI agents have created fake personalities in order to befriend suspects and lure them into revealing clues or confessing, access private information and map social networks. in one case that highlights the use of social networking in law enforcement, a man wanted in Seattle on bank fraud charges fled and police lost track of him. the suspects Facebook page was private but his friend list was public. Among Maxi Sopo's friends, prosecuters spotted a former justice department employee who did not know he was wanted. When Sopo posted messages on Facebook describing his easy new life in Mexico, his online friend provided information that enabled Mexican police to nab him in September. (Nasaw, 2010)

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