Social Network Sites: What do you want others to know?

January 30, 2011 at 11:34 am (Communication, Online Communication, Privacy, Social Media, Social Network) (, , , , , , , )

Task:

Based on three of the provided readings on issues relating to online identity, privacy and/or trust think about online identity in relation to both individuals and organisations:

  • What is important in terms of how we present and manage those identities online?
  • What can we share and what should we retain as private to the online world?

Readings:

De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J., & Jenkins, L. (2007). Section 3: Privacy, Security and Trust. In Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC. [ebook] Available http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/sharing_part3.pdf

Mallan, K. & Giardina, N. (2009). Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites, First Monday, 14 (6), 1 June. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2445/2213

Rayne-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook, First Monday, 15 (1), 4 January. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432

Response:

What is important in terms of how we present and manage identities online?

Presenting and managing your online identity within social network sites (SNS) comes with the responsibility to understand ‘who can see what, when and how’ from the content connected with your SNS profile. The use of user selected privacy settings towards the distribution of personal details, photos, videos and comments can help in defining and controlling how your information is available to others.  So what is important when choosing your SNS account privacy settings?

  1. Gain an understanding of how the SNS works in distributing the information you – and your online friends – contribute about yourself and your social activities.
  2. Discover who has the ability to ‘see’ the information posted about you – because you might find that it’s not just your ‘friends’.
  3. Find out what your rights are in managing comments or tags associated content posts from yourself and others.

What can we share and what should we retain as private to the online world?

The limits on what we are able to share through SNSs’ are generally confined to text comments, links to other websites, videos, and photographs.  However, some SNS’s – like facebook – also have the ability for other users to ‘like’ and ‘share’ information with their friends by on-posting your content on their walls. So deciding what to share and what to keep private has become mostly a personal decision for each user.  This statement is justified by considering Raynes-Goldie (2010) view regarding the merging of the traditional ‘informational privacy’ and ‘expressive privacy’ into a new online-related form which she has dubbed ‘social privacy’.

When deciding what you want others to have access to online, as yourself questions such as:

  1. What did I join the SNS for – meeting new people, socialising with existing friends or connecting with other professionals?
  2. What do I feel comfortable with people whom I possible do not know seeing about me and my social activities?
  3. What contact information do I want to make available for use?
  4. How do I want to connect with other users – through common interests or just approved friends?

Your answers to these questions will give you a good basis for understanding what you are looking to gain from the SNS. They will also assist in guiding your choices for setting privacy levels that you feel comfortable in maintaining towards the distribution of content linked to your profile.

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What are some issues surrounding online privacy and use of personal information?

January 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm (Libraries, Online Communication, Privacy) (, , , , , )

Task

Based on your interests and/or workplace context, read two of the above readings to form your understanding of one or more of the following areas of policy concern and reflect on your new learning about these issues in a 350 word post.

  1. Intellectual property, copyright and emergence of the Creative Commons
  2. Privacy, disclosure of personal information and online safety using SNSs
  3. Information access for all, adequate bandwidth/wireless/mobile connectivity and the ‘digital divide’
  4. Regulating the Internet in libraries, organisations and in the home
  5. Information and digital literacies, and recent emergence of transliteracy
  6. Acceptable use/online behaviour/social networking policies

Readings:

Hodson, S.S. (2006). Archives on the Web: Unlocking collections while safeguarding privacy, First Monday, 11 (8), August. Avaliable http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue11_8/hodson/index.html

James, M.L. Cyber crime 2.0 versus the Twittering classes. Parliament of Australia, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliamentary Library Information, analysis and advice for the Parliament. Science, Technology, Environment and Resources Section, 24 February 2010 (2009-10). Retrieved from http://www.aph.gov.au/Library/pubs/bn/sci/Cybercrime.pdf

Area of policy concern highlighted in readings:

Privacy, disclosure of personal information and online safety using SNSs

Response:

James (2010) highlights the broader national issues online users collectively face in protecting themselves against a range of wide spread issues. The downloading of sophisticated malicious software onto their computers or other devices, using out-dated security systems which have only received developer patches and minor updates and the overall increasing use of social based online technologies are all largely unseen factors by the individual user within the expanding cyber based crime industry. James goes further to discuss the use of popular social networks such as Twitter, and the contribution of personal information for display through the Twitter website and ‘tweets’ (posts to twitter) is adding to the growth of pre-existing criminal activities such as identity theft, home invasions and robbery.

Hodson delves more into the control of online information of a personal, private, sensitive or proprietary nature which has been archived and how this information can be made available for use by others online. She discusses the established and accepted meaning of privacy and what is being done to uphold that meaning within the global virtual environment. Hobson also highlights the ability for large corporations – which manage huge amounts of personal information about their clients – to ‘make mistakes’ by allowing access to this information to others. This opens all named clients to the potential of online identity theft and fraud.

So what do these two discussions mean for the information professional? Both James and Hobson highlight issues that are relevant for all online users regardless of the location of their online connection point (the user’s physical point of access to the internet). So these issues can – and most likely do – affect library users and library owned computer equipment which connects to the internet. Awareness of the overarching issues, as discussed by James, should be acknowledged and understood by library staff. However, the issues surrounding personal privacy and the use of personal information online as discussed by Hobson are, most likely, of higher immediate importance and relevance to library staff for serving and advising their online user community and the ensuring safety within the online activities they undertake. Another factor in the awareness of these issues is the ability to quickly identify, acknowledge and resolve any potential threats from malicious software or online criminals to the library’s users, computer network and technology by library staff and to have effective and clearly understood internet and social media policies in place which outline the actions to be taken by staff members.

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