Privacy concerns with social networking services have been raised growing concerns amongst users on the dangers of giving out too much personal information and the threat of sexual predators. Users of these services also need to be aware of data theft or viruses.
In addition, there is a perceived privacy threat in relation to placing too much personal information in the hands of large corporations or governmental bodies, allowing a profile to be produced on an individual’s behavior on which decisions, detrimental to an individual, may be taken.
Furthermore, there is an issue over the control of data—information that was altered or removed by the user may in fact be retained and passed to third parties.
Privacy on social networking sites can be undermined by many factors. For example, users may disclose personal information, sites may not take adequate steps to protect user privacy, and third parties frequently use information posted on social networks for a variety of purposes.
For the Net generation, social networking sites have become the preferred forum for social interactions, from posturing and role-playing to simply sounding off. However, because such forums are relatively easy to access, posted content can be reviewed by anyone with an interest in the users’ personal information.