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Towards a Taxonomy of Privacy Concerns of Online Social Network Sites Users: A Case Study of Facebook Beacon
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Computer and Systems Sciences, DSV.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

More than half a billion people use Online Social Network Sites (OSNS) today. They disclose personally identifiable information such as names, date of birth, email address, phone numbers, and home address on their profiles. Some OSNS users also disclose their political and religious views and personal interests. The huge commercial potential of OSNS users’ information and the integration of OSNS with third party advertisers and/or aggregators pose threats to users’ privacy. This thesis reports a study which contributes to our understanding of the form and nature of online privacy by critically analysing the privacy concerns related with the failed launch of Facebook’s advertising tool Beacon. Beacon is an interesting case study because it highlighted the privacy concerns of OSNS users.

Qualitative data was gathered from 29 weblogs (blogs) representing user opinions (492 comments) published between 6th November 2007(when Beacon was launched) and 28th February 2008 (when commentary had dwindled). A thematic analysis of the blogs contributed in the development of a taxonomy of privacy concerns of OSNS users specifically related with the third party information use. Noticeably, the concerns such as commercialism, terms of service (TOS), lack of user control, lack of user awareness and data protection influence user perceptions of online privacy. The limitations and key implications for designers and service providers of OSNS are also discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 89 p.
Keyword [en]
Weblogs (blogs), social network sites (OSNS), privacy, thematic analysis, Facebook
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-29113OAI: diva2:391634
Available from: 2011-01-25 Created: 2011-01-25 Last updated: 2011-02-08Bibliographically approved

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