Published: June 09, 2009
New research by a University of Tampa professor shows that Facebook
users are concerned about their privacy, but they aren’t doing a whole
aware of how their information can be used.
Dr. Natasha Veltri,
assistant professor of information and technology management, surveyed
254 active Facebook users and found that 71 percent were concerned that
information they provide to the social networking site will be used for
commercial purposes. Eighty percent said they were worried that
information could be used by government agencies or human resources
Still most of the users said they didn’t know
or could not be used by the site. Almost all of the users said they use
their real first and last name on Facebook, instead of a pseudonym or
Of the people in the study, only 17 percent said
they reveal personal and/or intimate details on their profile or wall
posts, but nearly half say they update their profile often. A majority
said they only share information with their friends, but the same number
said they have more than 200 “friends” on Facebook.
“The numbers clearly indicate that there is a concern, yet Facebook
users are still posting,” Veltri said. “While privacy concerns have
heightened over the last couple of years, the gist of the social
networking is in sharing and communicating.”
A Facebook user herself, Veltri focused on Facebook for consistency and
because of its popularity —the site overtook Myspace as the most popular
social networking site in 2008, according to comScore, an Internet
marketing research company.
The best way to protect your privacy, Veltri said, is to familiarize
choice about what to share online.