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How Facebook users end up sharing more personal details with third-party apps and advertisers?


It’s quite a challenge to keep up with Facebook’s ever-changing Privacy Policies and Terms of Use. The social media giant, Facebook users may try to guard their privacy, but they’re unwittingly sharing more personal information online than ever, based on an unprecedented 7-year study from Carnegie Mellon University. Nonetheless, an interesting study…

The researchers followed the privacy practices of 5,076 users at the school network Facebook in the university’s network to study how privacy and disclosure evolved from 2005 until 2011. During the first 4 years – facebook users steadily limited what personal data was visible to strangers.

In fact in 2009 and 2010, when facebook made changes to its user interface and settings, the study found people were more likely to share additional private information with friends and a group the researchers call the “silent listeners.”

The silent listeners include Facebook, third-party app developers and advertisers.

This result “highlights the power of the environment in affecting individual choices,” wrote the study’s authors, Carnegie Mellon University’s Fred Stutzman, Ralph Grossy and Alessandro Acquistiz. “The entity that controls the structure (in this case, Facebook), ultimately remains able to affect how actors make choices in that environment.”

“Like a modern Sisyphus, some consumers strive to reach their chosen ‘privacy spot’ — their desired balance between revealing and protecting — only to be taken aback by the next privacy challenge,” the researchers added.
From 2005 to 2009, Facebook users gradually decreased the amount of personal information they shared publicly on the site.

In 2009 and 2010, Facebook implemented a changes to its user interface and default settings, which led to a significant increase in public sharing of personal information.

Since 2009, Facebook users have gradually increased the amount of personal information they share privately with their Facebook “friends” but consequently they have also increased the amount of personal information they share with “silent listeners” such as third-party apps and advertisers, often without realizing they are doing so.

“These findings highlight the tension between privacy choices as expressions of individual subjective preferences and the role of the network environment in shaping those choices,” said Alessandro Acquisti, co-author of the study and associate professor of information technology and public policy at CMU, in a prepared statement. “While people try to take control of their personal information, the network keeps changing, affecting their decisions and changing their privacy outcomes.”

This cool infographic provides tips on how to recruit and hire employees with Facebook’s amazing new Graph Search tool:Facebook Graph Search for Recruiting:

(image by Zao)

About the AuthorProfessional

Amarendra is the Chief Executive Officer and Editorial Director at CEOWORLD Magazine, and is responsible for all business management, company operations, finance, and social advertising operations.

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