Privacy Issues in the context of Social Media

updated 2013 Feb 5

see also main page on Privacy Issues  www.witiger.com/ecommerce/privacyissues.htm
see also Email Filtering  www.witiger.com/ecommerce/emailfiltering.htm

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. This page used in the following courses taught by Prof. Richardson
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MGT D06
CCT 322
MGD 415
MRK 410, MRK 610
BCS 555
BIT 704
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Canada's privacy commissioner is set to announce Facebook will comply with privacy concerns.
During the 4th week of Aug 2009 Richardson was quoted in the Toronto Star for a story about Facebook and privacy issues.  Richardson said Facebook wants to keep users' information for its targeted ads, designed to appeal to different users' interests.

"They save things we might think are benign like the number of clicks on a page, what image has certain clicks, what the name of a file was," he said. 
When that information is put together with other information, Facebook is able to find consumer trends, said Richardson, who teaches e-commerce at the University of Toronto. While it should be a wake up call for social networking sites, Richardson said consumers don't always understand they should use judgment about what they say on the Internet. "We live in a celebrity generation where people want to be more famous than cautious," he said from Toronto. But he said it's an opportunity for social networking sites to use better privacy policies as a opportunity to bring more people to their site and get more business.."
the original article was written by journalist LuAnn LaSalle of CP www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/686928

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Privacy Issues
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Social Media
In January 2013 student Randheer E. contributed a substantial amount of comment and analysis on the matter of privacy issues in the context of social media.

Randheer's comments were posted below and FTP'd to the site Feb 6th

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Privacy Issues
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Introduction

In an age dominated by digitization, issues in privacy have evolved in accordance with the increasing role played by technology. With this in mind, the phenomenon that is Social Networking has integrated itself as a necessity to firms, marketers, researchers and most of all, consumers.  Firms are provided with a competitive edge, while consumers are free to socialize within an information playground minded by corporate watchdogs. Even if  one was unaided by such imagery, one can still rationally discern and anticipate the mass exodus of privacy complaints, shifting away from the real world and towards the digital.

With specific focus on Social Networking, there exists a wide range of privacy honey traps that could potentially be detrimental to a business and its online processes. Multiple precedents have been set over the past few years, with lawsuits being filed against social networking sites of all size and stature. 

E-Businesses and entrepreneurs should highlight these cases as a lesson in caution, since learning from the mistakes of others is vital in mitigating risk, and profitably navigating the online world. 

Randheer E.
 

Privacy Issues
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Social Media
 

Nexopia

www.nexopia.com

"Nexopia", a Canadian website charged with multiple breaches of Canadian Privacy law.  A news release from the office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, summarized the following privacy violations -

Disclosure of user profiles to the public and default privacy settings
Lack of meaningful consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information collected at registration
Sharing of personal information with advertisers without proper consent
Sharing of personal information with other third parties without proper consent
Retention of the personal information

http://www.priv.gc.ca/media/nr-c/2012/bg_120301_e.asp 

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Nexopia

www.nexopia.com
Randheer explains
Nexopia was forced to make 24 amendments to their online processes, out of which the firm could only comply with 20, citing high cost as a deterrent to completing the remaining changes.  Despite claiming that their information retention policy has benefits embedded within the requirements of a potential police or governmental inquiry, the Commissioner's office replied that "while such requests or warrants may justify a longer retention period in specific cases, they do not justify wholesale and indefinite retention of all records just in case there may be a request at some point in time." 
http://www.priv.gc.ca/media/nr-c/2012/bg_120301_e.asp

Randheer adds
This case highlights the mounting importance, and monetary value, associated with personal information. Several science writers and economists have speculated that future currency would be based upon information, and this marks a step towards that direction.  The Privacy Commissioner of Canada alludes to this notion, and accurately summarizes the privacy issues posed by social media in a speech - " This is the Age of Big Data, where personal information is the currency that Canadians and others around the world freely give away.  Social media companies can quickly amass a staggering amount of personal information.  In addition to the preferences, habits and social interactions of their users, these companies also collect vast amounts of background information that are not visible on public profiles, including search histories, purchases, Internet sites visited, and the content of private messages. "
Speech made to the House of Commons - http://www.priv.gc.ca/parl/2012/parl_20120529_e.asp

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Privacy Issues
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Randheer concludes

Although Social Media presents an undeniably lucrative opportunity for business to enhance their scope and scale, one must recognize that it operates within a constantly evolving environment, which increasingly emphasises the importance of maintaining transparency and respecting consumer rights. As such,  E-Businesses and entrepreneurs must actively monitor changes to the industry and regulatory law, in order to establish comprehensive mitigation strategies ,or contingency plans, that cover the event of a privacy conflict.


 
 
 
 
 
 
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