Facebook and Google: Why self-reported privacy is a myth
Facebook has long been the target of privacy claims.
Facebook is one of the most widely used social networks, and its algorithms determine what users see.
But as of late this year, Facebook has started using new tools to collect data from users and to share it with advertisers, who can then use it to target ads to people who share their posts.
Google is also increasingly using its own algorithms to determine what people see on its sites.
And now, a new study published in the journal Science suggests that self-described privacy may be more of a myth than a reality.
The study examined more than 1,400 people and found that a majority of respondents said that self reports of privacy and confidentiality were true.
“What we find is that people have more to hide than they think they do, and that’s reflected in the degree to which they report that privacy is important to them,” says study author Adam Eidinger, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan.
Eidingers team also found that those with more self-identified information about their privacy tended to report greater levels of privacy anxiety.
And while self-reports of privacy may seem more like a myth, the researchers say that’s a mistake.
“When you think about it, what we found is that there’s no such thing as ‘true’ or ‘false’ privacy.
There’s a spectrum of true privacy that’s really good for you, and there’s a range of false privacy that we see as problematic for you,” says Eidingest.
“The reality is, people may have different definitions of what’s ‘good’ and ‘bad’ privacy.”
Eidingers research suggests that, as it relates to Facebook, privacy concerns may be less of a problem when it comes to other social media platforms, like Twitter and Instagram.
It’s also important to note that the people in the study had no reason to believe that Facebook or Google were secretly recording their conversations or storing personal information about them.
The researchers also found little correlation between self-reporting of privacy on Facebook and the number of times people reported that they used the site for business or pleasure.
“The bottom line is that the social media industry is not really focused on how to build trust, and trust is not built by asking people for permission, it’s built by doing what you want to do,” says Ryan Gartland, a professor of psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology who has written extensively about online privacy.
Still, privacy can be difficult to define, particularly in the digital age, which requires companies to make personal information public.
Google also requires companies that use its services to publicly disclose their users’ information to comply with the Privacy Act.
In addition to privacy, the study also looked at how people thought about the importance of protecting their privacy online.
Eidinger and his colleagues asked more than a hundred people, most of whom were in their 20s and 30s, to rate their trust in the privacy of their own communications.
Those who thought they were less trusting were more likely to report feeling less confident about their ability to maintain privacy online and less likely to believe their online privacy was important to others.
One thing that stood out, however, was the extent to which people considered privacy important.
People who rated themselves as less trusting believed that protecting their personal information was important, but that they were not very likely to do so themselves.
“People who are more likely or more likely, and especially younger people, to consider privacy important, and to consider their privacy important to their friends and family and to others, are more trusting about the privacy they want to be able to protect,” says Gartlands.
This finding is consistent with other studies that have shown that younger people are more inclined to trust strangers online than adults.
It’s also notable, because it suggests that younger users are more willing to let social media services do the talking.
And in the absence of a strong social media push, the data suggests that young people are also less likely than older people to use tools that encourage their friends to keep their online information private.
The researchers say their findings also suggest that young adults’ privacy may not be as important as we think.
“It’s important to think about this issue in terms of the younger generations,” says David Gertz, a privacy expert at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
“We’re all on a collision course with each other in terms, in some ways, of how we think about our privacy.”
But if you’re not interested in having a conversation about your privacy, or you want the information to stay private,