Social Networks: Facebook

By: Justin Wilkerson

“Facebook Grows Up” by Steven Levy
“Information Revelation and Privacy in Online Social
Networks (The Facebook Case)” by Ralph Gross and
Alessandro Acquisti

History of Facebook • Founded by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg.com was purchased for $200. and the domain Facebook. open enrollment policy • Just like Google.000 Only could access Facebook if you had a valid college email (high school students granted access September 2005) • September 11. in February 2004 • In August 2005 thefacebook was officially called Facebook.2006. Facebook generates revenue through advertisements .

com). Insiderpages. friends (i.e. MoSoSo (mobile-social-software).e. edge cases social networking plus (i. pets (i.com). photos (i.com). face-to-face facilitation (i. Flickr.e. GoingProfessional. dating (EHarmony.com) • Sites offer core features like “Profiles” and the ability for users to be contacted or contact others .com).com). Meetup. common interests (i.com).e.e. Online Social Networks • Dates back to 1960’s • Social software Weblog groups 9 categories: business (i. Myspace. BookCrossing.e.com). Catster.e.

but sites like MySpace most users do not use their real names all the time . Information Revelation • Social networking sites share the basic purpose of online communication. but goals and usage patterns are different from each other • The use of real names of its users is encouraged by many of the sites like Facebook.

Cont. Such as previous schools and work places – Private Info. Like drinking and or smoking habits – And open-ended entries . • Information can be revealed often by hobbies and common interests – Semi-public info.

like on Facebook . 2 • Visibility is a high variable on online social networks – Some sites allow you to view other users profiles – Some sites allow users to limit what others see – Such Visibility is privacy controls are updated each day. Cont.

more and more users are giving out personal information – Personal Email addresses • AIM. etc. Yahoo. Cont. – Phone numbers – Current Residence . 3 • Across these different sites.

users want their info. but to the ones they better than others . The Social Network Theory and Privacy • Relationship between a person’s social network and privacy can be multi-factored • In some cases. users will be willing to open their private info. to circulate throughout smaller online communities and not to strangers • In others. to strangers.

The Facebook. to increase to sense of trust and intimacy throughout the online community .com • Many of social networking sites are of college age – College oriented social networks because these networks offer wealth of personal data of potentially great value to outside viewers and critics – Since many college social networks require college email accounts.

Gross and Acquisti downloaded 4540 Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Facebook profiles • Demographics: – 73.2% female – 95.6% of users fall into the 18-24 age range .7% were under-grads – 60. The Study • June 2005.4% male versus 39.

Disclosed .Types and Amounts of Info.

To others in order to establish some different degrees of trust and intimacy with them” – Facebook Data Access . Data Visibility and Privacy Preferences • Facebook gives users opportunity to control their own searchability and visibility – “Sociological theories have noted how an individual may selectively disclose personal info.

77. Privacy Implications • Privacy Features are provided by many social networks. is “stalking”.7% of all these studied profiles contained an AIM screen name. especially with Facebook. . but users rarely use these features • The main result of users not taking advantage of the privacy outlines. at least 2 classes they were attending. 860 profiles revealed their current residence. because AIM allows users to add buddies/friends without any notification. and phone number – Most of the of online networks are stalked using AOL instant messenger (AIM).

current residence. Cont. and so forth.” – A large number of the US population can be re- identified using a zip code. gender. to estimate what their Social Security Number is. zip code. Re-Identification • “Data re-identification typically deals with the linkage of datasets without explicit identifiers such as name and address to datasets with explicit identifiers through common attributes. – 45. and date of birth. making them able to be re- identified. hackers can take their birth date. and gender. – By this info. being in users profiles. .8% of Facebook users list their birthday.

Leakage using Facebook as well as other social networks . • There are many risks to using Facebook (i. Conclusion • Facebook has become the social network king… and is about to put itself on the in the stock market world. stalking) • Studies show that there is a lot of private info.e.