A first-of-its-kind seven-year study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that Facebook users became more sensitive about divulging their information over time, even as Facebook ratcheted up the pressure for them to divulge more.
Over the timespan of the study, which examined the Facebook habits of 5,000 users from 2005 to 2011, Facebook introduced several changes that encouraged users to add more of their personal information to the site. In 2011, for instance, the Timeline feature was introduced, which accurately tracked major personal milestones like home purchases, relationships and even childbirth. Facebook also tripled the amount of data fields that users could voluntarily fill out during the seven-year period, encouraging users to share more than they might want to.
However, during that same time, users became more protective of certain personal information, like cell phone numbers and educational background. But when Facebook changed its privacy settings in 2009, there was a sudden spike in data sharing among the survey group, though researchers attribute this to confusion on the users’ part about how to make their information private again. Overall, despite the increased awareness of privacy settings and what information should not be divulged online, the study found that users were revealing much more about themselves in 2011 than they were in 2005.
The report concludes: “Over time, the amount and scope of personal information that Facebook users have revealed to friends’ profiles seems to have markedly increased — and thus, so have disclosures to Facebook itself, third-party apps, and (indirectly) advertisers.”
SocialSafe helps you to create your library of you. It’s the safest place for your online life. Downloaded to your computer, auto organised and instantly searchable. Supports most major social networks.
PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.
BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams on Facebook.
DoNotTrackMe protects your privacy by blocking online tracking. Abine – Online Privacy Starts Here.