Social Media Users No Longer Expect Privacy

During his speech on the final day of CES, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has stated that users no longer have an expectation of privacy. Mark said that privacy is no longer the “social norm”, and that we are seeing drastic changes in people’s attitudes towards that privacy. Privacy issues online have always been of great concern to most people, but that no longer seems to be the case. Says Zuckerberg:

People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.

This raises a lot of interesting questions, especially in my line of work. We have quite a large community. Granted, we don’t have as many users as does Facebook or Twitter, but I like to think we’re a large group! Reading through our various sites, I can’t help but notice how right Mark is. People aren’t hiding things as much as they used to. They aren’t as careful as they might have been even last year.

Are people more comfortable with revealing information about themselves online? Or, as I fear, are too many people simply unaware of what can happen when they reveal too much? Identity theft isn’t the only concern… marketers can be quite aggressive once they find information about you online. Where should you draw the line when posting things in a place such as Geeks, or on Lockergnome?

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6 thoughts on “Social Media Users No Longer Expect Privacy”

  1. I believe you are right. People stil does not realize the risk they inccurr. It would be interresting to understand if this trend exists for all ages or is it more visible for the younger ones.

  2. Way back in the day Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems said that expectations of privacy were over. I think that people feel anonymous revealing their innermost thoughts on social media sites without realizing that there is no anonymity in cyberspace. Also, I think older less-“geeky” people have more concerns about privacy, having actually had it, then younger people who have grown up with cell phones, iPods, suveillance cameras at the mall, and the internet as part of their everyday lives. I’m an older semi-geekess who is very careful about what I put on the ‘net. My motto: if I’m comfortable with having what I say be part of a deposition and/or testimony in a court proceeding, then I publish. Of course, once the expectation of privacy is gone, then the possibility of Big Brother (see the novel 1984) becomes more and more likely. After all, if you have nothing to hide, why should you care if you are watched/monitored 24/7?

  3. I am going to go with you on this one Chris.

    The popularity of sites such as Facebook and Twitter have grown so fast over the last year and people on them really don’t know what they are doing when they put cretin types of info online.

    A good example of this is the girl in England that let off some steam about her job over Facebook and got fired over what she said.

    People should think about what they are saying before they press that little share button.

  4. Interesting post. I’ve recently been writing about this topic, but from a different perspective regarding how professionals should always be aware of the digital footprint they are leaving behind. The point I’ve been making is that once a person enters the digital domain on the social Web, they open themselves up to all kinds of scrutiny from all directions. Identity theft, aggressive marketeers may be problematic for revealing too much, but I’d also throw in the how too much personal information and insight may impact professional careers – now and well into the future.

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