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Social Network Services: Privacy Issues Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2020

The Right to Privacy is Not a Right to Facebook. 2010, The Information Technology And Innovation Foundation Website. By Daniel Castro

In his article, Daniel Castro is saying that Social Networking Sites should not be blamed if the private information of individuals is being put in the public domain. This is because users agree to sign up on these sites and agree to use them as they are. It is not as though they are tricked into joining.

Daniel says that it is only where an SNS (Social Networking Sites) spoils the terms of use for which a member signed up that it becomes a legal matter. The author says that what is of more interesting is what are the boundaries an SNS can go to when using information and statistics collected from users to make new products.

Daniel Castro’s argument is that people have to accept that companies will keep finding ways to use personal information found on the internet for their own wrong use. What is more important right now, is that people should now find ways to work from this point because there will always be people on the internet who will misuse private information

Privacy in Social networks, in Internet Language. By David Drip

The writer, Mr. Drip centers his article on criticizing the harm that can come to users of social networks because of the exposure of personal information. Drip begins by defining Social Networks Systems (SNS) as being an online platform or community where friends keep up with each other through pictures, texts and videos. Drip groups the information shared on SNSs as falling into two categories.

The first he calls referential to mean that it refers to an individual directly, and the second he calls attributive to mean that this is information that tells more about a person.

The author then explains the different ways in which information shared over SNS can harm a person. Because information on the internet platform spreads very fast, and the person who puts it there cannot control what others who can see the information do with it, it at times being misused.

Drip’s first point is that the owners of the SNS can use targeted advertisements to gather information about users for greedy marketers, and the user is not protected against this. His other argument is that if a stranger retrieves personal information such as employer, and Social Security Number, he or she can use it for mischief.

Drip does not agree with Daniel Castro. He believes very strongly that the sharing of private information on SNSs should be more controlled. He says that the user is not even safe from the owners of the SNSs who build digital profiles on them, and trade off these to greedy product builders. Drip says that a user on a social networking site exposes himself to the dangers of identity theft, scammers, stalkers and other such bad characters.

Drip finishes by outlining the three stages in which information is processed on the internet: one it is collected when the user uploads information onto the internet, two it is processed, and at the last stage it is spread. He concludes that the user on an SNS is not well protected, is left open to exploitation.

Information revelation and Privacy in online social networks: the Facebook Case. By Ralph Gross and Alessandra Acquisti

This article takes a much deeper analysis of privacy settings on SNSs, especially Facebook, specifically Facebook users in Carnegie Mellon University. The author did a research to see how private information posted by students onto their profiles can be used to harm their safety or cause damage.

The author started by gathering demographic information of Facebook users at CMU, and discovered that the average age of people using Facebook at this university is roughly twenty one years. He noted that most users had about a circle of ten to thirty friends who they talk to regularly, and between hundreds to a thousand or more ‘friends’ the user does not necessarily know very well. He adds that users share information freely because of the feeling that they can trust their friends.

In regards to privacy, the author points out that most users reveal a great deal of personal information like names, birthdays, places where they live and work, hobbies, and links to other networks to which they might belong. He adds that the figures from the research indicate that eighty percent of the Facebook users did not lower the access that people who are not their friends have on general information to be found on their profiles.

The writer figures that from the amount of private information that users freely displayed on Facebook, it appears the users are not very bothered by who sees this information. This makes them an easy to violation both online and physically if a bad person has such intentions in mind.

He points out some of the dangers as being stalking, identity theft, re-identification, hacking into email address accounts, collection of personal data to make a profile, and manipulation. He finishes the paper by saying that since Facebook and most other networking sites, builds networks that go beyond just our friends, then there are instances where private information shared can land in the wrong hands and be misused.


Castro, D. (2010). The right to privacy is not a right to Facebook. . Web.

Drip, D. (2010). ‘Privacy in social networks’, Internet Language. Web.

Gross, R., and Acquisti, A. (2005). Information revelation and privacy in online social networks: the Facebook case. Carnegie Melbourne University. Web.

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