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Social Network - Facebook - Research Paper Example

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Facebook is among the mostly preferred social networking websites. The site has over 8 million users including almost over 2,000 college campuses (Trepte and Leonard, 2011, pp100)…
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Social Network - Facebook
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"Social Network - Facebook"

Download file to see previous pages The end users of Facebook site always have a wide variety of information but despite this fact, the privacy implications of accessing and using this information has emerged and immensely affected them (Trepte and Leonard, 2011, pp101). On examining how Facebook has affected privacy, researchers have found massive flaws in the system. The privacy in this social media has usually been undermined by at least three key factors. These three factors, which highly affect the privacy of this social media, include: users disclose too much information, Facebook management does not take crucial steps towards protecting the users privacy, and lastly, third parties are very busy seeking end users information using Facebook (Trepte and Leonard, 2011, pp102). These three factors have made the use of Facebook as a channel of communication and interaction vulnerable, as third parties can easily access the information which was not intended for them.
Though Facebook privacy policy settings specify which data will be collected about an individual user, mostly, some part of this policy is vague and confusing to the end users. Some privacy policy standards adopted by Facebook appear confusing and mostly contradict the stipulated privacy rights of the end users, for example, Facebook collects information about its end users from other external sources like newspapers, regardless of the individual use of the website (Trepte and Leonard, 2011, pp103). The gathered information from these external sources is used to supplement the end users profiles unless the individual users specify in their settings that they don’t want that to be done. To this extent, Facebook usually compromises the privacy of many end users who are mainly unaware of such settings. Despite the fact that Facebook clearly indicates what type of information they will be including in their whole process of updating individual user profiles with information they seek from the external sources, their privacy policy and adherence thereto fall short in various areas. First, they fail to explain to the individuals the use for the extracted data (Trepte and Leonard, 2011, pp104). This means that they can avail of any individual data for various purposes like for Facebook’s marketing partners. Facebook has developed a close relationship with various corporations, thus they take advantage of the individual users and share their information to these associates without their approval. This clearly implies that there is virtually no control of what data Facebook can expose to the advertisers (Trepte and Leonard, 2011, pp105). The law regulating the disclosure allows Facebook to disclose any individual user personal data to the advertisers. This allows the advertisers to create cookies that are not governed by any privacy policy regulating the use of social media. Though there is a stipulated procedure for an individual Facebook user to request Facebook not to share his or her information with third parties, definitely there is no transparency in such procedures as individual users have no evidence of whether their request will be honored or not. In line with privacy of online information, security of information is assured through use of passwords. This allows for a restriction of access of information to those who have only been granted legitimacy to access such information. Facebook, though has vague guidelines about the use of its user’s information, has given users control over their existing information about themselves in the Facebook databases. Their terms of engagement with users clearly state that a user can remove his or her content in the Facebook d ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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