Mary Madden (2012) Privacy management on social media sites, Pew Research Center
As social media use has become a mainstream activity, there has been an increasingly polarized public debate about whether or not “privacy” can be dismissed as a relic in the information age. On one side of the debate is what might be called the privacy-is-dead camp. On the other side, some advocates and scholars argue that the public still cares deeply about their privacy online but those sensitivities have been ill-served by technology companies that stand to profit from more widespread sharing and availability of personal information. Yet, social science researchers have long noted a major disconnect in attitudes and practices around information privacy online. When asked, people say that privacy is important to them; when observed, people’s actions seem to suggest otherwise. This report addresses several questions about the privacy settings people choose for their social networking profiles, and provides new data about the specific steps users take to control the flow of information to different people within their networks.
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