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Cultural Economy of the Media - Essay Example

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Government institutions and private individuals accuse social network companies of failing to protect the privacy of their users. For instance, Facebook encourages people to provide their personal information such as date of birth, names, or even education background…
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Cultural Economy of the Media
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Download file to see previous pages A study of 540 students at the Carnegie Mellon University reveals that 89% of students at this institution gave their real names, and 61% of students managed to upload their real photos in the social networking site of Facebook (May, 2013). These users did not alter their privacy settings, and therefore it was possible to access their information publicly. On this note, therefore, Facebook has come under criticisms for failure of providing adequate privacy options for its various users. These criticisms arise on the background that the information that users provide can cause serious security problems to the individual concerned and to the country as a whole. The social network sites also process enormous information on a daily basis. Features in these social network sites, such as open platform applications, invitations, messages, and photos are avenues in which the private information of a user is made public. To protect users from inappropriate use of their information/data, it is important to enact measures that will regulate the nature of information that the public can view (Austin, 2003). The criterion of choosing this kind of information should be on the background of the effect the data can cause to the individual if it is exposed to the public. This paper analyzes the roles of privacy in the social networking sites. In analyzing these roles, this paper uses Helen Nissenbaum’s theory of privacy, known as the contextual integrity theory. It also identifies the specific European Union and UK privacy laws that seek to regulate the privacy of an individual, and it demonstrates the business interests of these social networks in relation to the information they control. This paper has a conclusion, which is a summary of the main points addressed in it. Privacy in a social networking site protects the information of an individual from being used by people who are not authorised to use the information (Ritzer and Jurgenson, 2010). The current trends in regard to gathering data and disseminating the same by data collecting companies involve the perusals of information from social networking sites. The intention of these companies is to sell the information to marketing companies. On most occasions, they collect and use this information without the knowledge of its owners. According to the contextual integrity theory, this amounts to a breach of an individual’s privacy. According to this theory, it is impossible for an individual to have complete privacy. On this basis, therefore, people will share their personal information, as long as there are certain principles that govern the nature in which they share their personal information (Pollach, 2005). However, if these principles are contravened, without the permission of the parties involved, then a breach of privacy has occurred. Take, for example, these data collecting companies, accessing the information of an individual through their social networking account, and using the information they gain to produce a marketing campaign without their knowledge. According to the contextual integrity theory, this is a breach of an individual’s privacy. This theory further goes on to identify two types of behaviors that determine whether there is a breach of an individual’s privacy or not (Mowlabocus, 2004). These norms are the norms of distribution and that of appropriateness. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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