Facebook User Privacy Habits, September-October 2013

Facebook user privacy settingsI care very much about my privacy on Facebook, but I find it frustrating to keep up with the various changes that occur on a regular basis. I check my privacy settings every few months, when I remember, or when there is a big kerfuffle online about the latest privacy settings changes. Therefore, I found this data about how often people pay attention to and actually use their Facebook privacy settings very interesting.

Facebook Privacy and User Habits , Sept-Oct 2013

Will you make any changes based on what you’ve read in this infographic? If so, what changes will you make?

[Infographic via Social Media Today.]

CBS News Examines the Internet and Our Right to Privacy

What if you are asked to resign your position because of a complaint about photos you posted to Facebook that you thought were private and for friends only — but weren’t? What if in the pictures you are perfectly sober, but simply posing with two glasses of alcohol, and reference a site that has a profanity in the name? What if the complaint about you to your employer was sent anonymously?

Erin Moriarity of CBS News examines these questions and more in the video below, “The Internet and Our Right to Privacy” from 48 Hours on February 6th, 2011. The producers write:

24-year-old Ashley Payne was forced to resign from her position as a public high school teacher when a student allegedly complained over a Facebook photo of Payne holding alcoholic beverages claiming it promoted drinking. 48 Hours’ Erin Moriarty investigates our ever changing rights to privacy.

There is an article that accompanies the video, ”Did the Internet Kill Privacy?“.

What do you think? If you put something online, is it automatically public, even if you mark it private? Do we have any right to privacy online? Is it morally OK, even if it is legal, for companies to compile profiles about us — without our knowledge and consent — based on our digital footprint?

Americans’ Valentine’s Day Plans via Social Networking Sites

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Are you honest about your relationships status on social networking sites? Do you display the name of your significant other on your site? How have you spent this past Valentine’s weekend? How will you spend today? Did you buy or do you plan to buy a gift for your significant other?

These questions and more are answered in the infographic below. The data was culled from 400 users of MySpace and Facebook.

Social Networking Americans’ Valentine’s Day Plans

The infographic above, “Social Networking Americans’ Valentine’s Day Plans” was created by Lab42 for Mashable.

Is there any Valentine’s Day data from social networking sites you’d like to see that is missing above? Does any of the data surprise you?

How to Tame Your Data When Mom is on Facebook

What do you do when your mom gets on Facebook? Do you not “friend” her, do you become more careful about what you post, or do you put her into a special group with limited access to your page? If you do the latter, what do you do when she asks why she can’t see all of your data and information?

You are a grown up and you live far, far away, and yet, it is like your parents can monitor your activities at any time. That can be creepy and just plain annoying.

The writers and comedians at Saturday Night Live have come up with a brilliant idea — a “damn it, my mom is on a facebook filter”.

I have to admit, although my friends are organized into various groups based on how I know them (high school, college, etc.), I have been careful about what I post since I first got on Facebook five years ago. Having said that, it was still weird when my mother joined and friended me. It was as though my activities were being watched again, just like when I was a child.

Did you change any behavior when your parents and relatives joined Facebook? Why or why not?

Facebook: By the Numbers

The numbers behind the Facebook phenomenon are staggering. Users spend 500 million minutes per month on the site. Seventy different languages are used on Facebook. As of December 2000, there were an estimated 361 million users on the Internet; as of 2010, Facebook alone has 400 million users. As of this writing, the Facebook user population is larger than the entire population of the United States. Only, two countries, China and India, have larger populations than the current number of users on Facebook.

Launched from a Harvard dorm room in 2004, the site had 1500 registrants within the first 24 hours, and 1 million users in the first year. Facebook’s 2008 revenue alone is estimated at $300 million.

How do I know all of this? Brian Fisher researched the stats and then created the animation below, called Facebook: By the Numbers.

The author describes the video as:

A short animation about Facebook, displaying a timeline and overview of the website with numbers and statistics. The data and research that I collected was between 3/3/10 and 5/14/10. I created all of the visuals and motion.

Fisher obtained the statistics from the following sources, which he cites in the last section of the animation.

brian fisher vimeo citations facebook: by the numbers

Are there any statistics that stand out to you?

I would like to have seen a few statistics on the evolution of Facebook privacy controls, but I am nitpicking. I think the animation provides a great deal of information to the viewer within a very short time frame, in an understandable format, with a great, funky-but-relaxing soundtrack. Data deluge, you’ve been tamed.

Bruce Schneier on “Security, Privacy, and the Generation Gap”

Bruce SchneierBruce Schneier gave a great talk on privacy at the recent CACR Higher Education Security Summit. Basically, he argues that privacy isn’t dead and we should aim for more privacy laws. It is a thought-provoking talk that is worth watching. I also enjoyed hearing the questions from attendees, and his thoughtful responses to them.

His talk runs the gamut from the differences between generational views of privacy, the different types of data we have online, the data trail we leave behind us constantly, and, of that, what we do and don’t control. In addition, he makes the point that we are the product — our data, is the product — that social networking sites are selling. He points out that these companies, like Google with Buzz, and Facebook, can change our privacy settings at any time and there is little we can do about it. He argues that we should not let corporations define the privacy defaults, because those defaults will be in the favor of the corporations and not of the citizens. (I agree.) He believes the lack of data protection now equals the lack of environmental protections in the early 20th century.


Facebook’s Privacy Issue — We’re Each Responsible

CNN’s Ali Velshi interviews John Abell regarding how much privacy consumers should expect when using Facebook and other social media. I think John Abell gives a rather balanced response. I agree with him that as part of managing my personal data, the information I put on FB is mine, and that when I leave I should be able to take it with me easily.

I also agree with Abell’s statements that we have a reasonable expectation of privacy when we use social media — even taking into account it is a public space — and that companies have a responsibility to ensure that their customers retain a certain level of privacy. It is on both our shoulders.

Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share regarding privacy, Facebook, and the content of this video clip?