Facebook Users Are Starting To Share More Data

A common rebuttal to proponents of online privacy is to just not share personal information with services like Facebook, Twitter and the like. It’s a solid argument, but one that’s not practiced, even by those with privacy concerns.

A new study out of Carnegie Mellon University followed over 5,000 Facebook users for six years to observe how much information they shared with others. Those with privacy concerns were able to limit what they shared for the first four years, but the privacy policy changes of the past few years have actually encouraged these same users to share more personal information with others.

Wait, how does that work? Facebook said that the new privacy controls would help limit what information is viewed by others. That’s absolutely true, and the new privacy controls may led to an increase in sharing information as users felt more secure. There may have been a Trojan Horse hidden in the new privacy policy, however, that has led to an increase in sharing.

The researchers point out that Facebook’s relatively new sharing system that allows “friends of friends” to see posts may be leading to this increase in sharing. Some users obviously don’t like that, but it seems that most don’t even notice. Most of us would like to think “friends of friends” would overlap with our own personal friend list. That’s usually the case, but it can sometimes lead to awkward situations where people you don’t like suddenly being able to comment on statuses that have a mutual friend tagged in it.

It’s these situations where Facebook’s privacy controls could be more refined to prevent accidental shares with unwanted parties. That being said, the social network’s privacy controls are apparently sufficient enough for the average user. Why would they share so much of their lives if it wasn’t?

[h/t: Huffington Post]

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Zach Walton
About Zach Walton
Zach Walton is a Writer for WebProNews. He specializes in gaming and technology. Follow him on Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Google+ +Zach Walton

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