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Facebook privacy concerns are on the rise, says consumer report

Oversharing and excessive data collection are growing concerns of Facebook users, a US consumer reports has claimed.
May 4th 2012, 4:48 PM 3,355 14

PEOPLE ARE INCREASINGLY concerned with their privacy on Facebook, according to a new consumer report.

The Consumer Reports study involved 2,002 online households including 1,340 Facebook users and, extrapolating the results to apply them to Facebook’s 188 million North American users, it identified the main causes for concern as:

  • Oversharing: a total of 4.8 million users have posted their plans for the day on the site – a behaviour that some say raises the risk of burglary
  • Not using privacy controls: over a quarter of users share their wall posts with an audience wider than their friends, according to the study – and 13 million users have never set privacy controls
  • Data collection: the site tracks users’ activity both on and off the site and even though Facebook insist it do not sell user information to advertisers, it has admitted that it plans to release more of the data it has collected on users – like IP addresses and facial recognition patterns
  • Harassment: there has been an increase in the number of users reporting a online harassment or hacking incidents – cyberbullying is also on the rise, according to the report

It seems that users concerned about their privacy are also trying to run rings around Facebook, with 25 per cent saying that they had falsified their information in order to protect their identity.

Read: Facebook share price values social network at up to $96 billion

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Jennifer Wade


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