Increasingly, millions of people, especially youth, post personal information in online social networks (OSNs). In September 2006, one of the most popular sites-Facebook.com-introduced the features of News Feed and Mini Feed, revealing no more information than before, but resulting in immediate criticism from users. To investigate the privacy controversy, we conducted a survey among 172 current Facebook users in a large US university to explore their usage behaviors and privacy attitudes toward the introduction of the controversial News Feed and Mini Feed features. We examined the degree to which users were upset by the changes, explored the reasons as to why, and examined the influences of the News Feed privacy outcry on user behavior changes. The results have demonstrated how an easier information access and an "illusory" loss of control prompted by the introduction of News Feed features, triggered users' privacy concerns. In addition to enhancing our theoretical understanding of privacy issues in the online social networks, this research is also potentially useful to privacy advocates, regulatory bodies, service providers, and marketers to help shape or justify their decisions concerning the online social networks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Management of Technology and Innovation