Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1427546
 
 

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Contextual Gaps: Privacy Issues on Facebook


Gordon Hull


University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Department of Philosophy

Heather Richter Lipford


University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte - Dept. of Software Information Systems

Celine Latulipe


University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte - Dept. of Software Information Systems

June 29, 2009

Ethics and Information Technology Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 289-302, 2011

Abstract:     
Social networking sites like Facebook are rapidly gaining in popularity. At the same time, they seem to present significant privacy issues for their users. We analyze two of Facebooks’s more recent features, Application and News Feed, from the perspective enabled by Helen Nissenbaum’s treatment of privacy as “contextual integrity.” Offline, privacy is mediated by highly granular social contexts. Online contexts, including social networking sites, lack much of this granularity. These contextual gaps are at the root of many of the sites’ privacy issues. Application, which nearly invisibly shares not just a users’, but a user’s friends’ information with third parties, clearly violates standard norms of information flow. News Feed is a more complex case, because it involves not just questions of privacy, but also of program interface and of the meaning of “friendship” online. In both cases, many of the privacy issues on Facebook are primarily design issues, which could be ameliorated by an interface that made the flows of information more transparent to users.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: Internet, privacy, contextual integrity, social networking, Facebook

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Date posted: July 1, 2009 ; Last revised: February 28, 2014

Suggested Citation

Hull, Gordon and Lipford, Heather Richter and Latulipe, Celine, Contextual Gaps: Privacy Issues on Facebook (June 29, 2009). Ethics and Information Technology Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 289-302, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1427546

Contact Information

Gordon Hull (Contact Author)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Department of Philosophy ( email )
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223
United States
Heather Richter Lipford
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte - Dept. of Software Information Systems ( email )
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
United States
Celine Latulipe
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte - Dept. of Software Information Systems ( email )
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
United States
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