Privacy concerns – specifically personal data privacy – appear to be increasing among social network denizens in the U.S.
But not for all social networks.
According to the results of a Harris Interactive poll conducted in June, 66 percent of the respondents indicated they are most concerned about privacy on “social networks, e.g. Facebook.”
But the same study suggested only 35 percent are concerned about privacy on “social photo sharing platforms, e.g. Instagram,” only 23 percent are concerned about privacy on “micro-blogging sites, e.g. Twitter,” and only 23 percent are concerned about privacy on “disappearing photo-sharing apps, e.g. Snapchat.”
Yea, we know. The dots don’t seem to connect very easily.
Results of the study were published by eMarketer, which also for comparison’s sake (and math) pointed out the U.S. currently has 176.2 million Internet users, 54 percent of the U.S. total population and 68.6 percent of the world’s total Internet users.
The same poll suggested 56 percent of Internet users are concerned about email privacy, 52 percent concerned about privacy on web browsers and 45 percent concerned about privacy on search engines.
We should point out, of course, user concerns don’t necessarily equal actual privacy threats but stats like this should be enough for social networks to take steps to ensure greater privacy and educate users about those privacy features.
Facebook sued over private message monitoring
According to the Los Angeles Times, Facebook is being sued in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California by FB users who claim the social network juggernaut is monitoring private messages on the network and sharing data with marketers.
“According to the lawsuit…, Facebook scans the contents of private messages including links to other websites ‘to improve its marketing algorithms and increase its ability to profit from data about Facebook users’,” writes the LA Times. “The links to third-party websites are interpreted as a ‘like’ of that website and contribute to a profile of the sender’s activity on the Web for the purpose of targeting advertising, the lawsuit alleges.”
Jackie Rooney, speaking for Facebook, told the LA Times the allegations are “without merit.”
“We will defend ourselves vigorously,” she explained in an emailed statement to the newspaper.