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Protecting Our Digital Walls: Regulating the Privacy Policy Changes Made by Social Networking Websites

JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY FOR THE INFORMATION SOCIETY, Vol. 6, No. 60, 2011

26 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2011  

Robert Lemons

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2011

Abstract

Online social networking websites, such as Facebook, are growing in both size and popularity. These sites operate on the basic idea that users should openly share personal information with each other. The vast majority of this information is both personally identifiable and private in nature, generating a host of privacy concerns. One easily overlooked issue is how social networking sites, themselves, change their privacy policies after users have already shared personal information, fundamentally altering the way users can control their own information. After exploring the growth of online social networking and the increase in user dissatisfaction with social network privacy policy changes, this Note argues that federal regulation could help to create transparency and protect users against unanticipated changes in their ability to control their information. This Note also discusses the apparent disconnect between users’ privacy preferences and actual online behavior, exploring why this disconnect exists and its implications for the effectiveness of potential regulation.

JEL Classification: K10, K20, K23

Suggested Citation

Lemons, Robert, Protecting Our Digital Walls: Regulating the Privacy Policy Changes Made by Social Networking Websites (November 1, 2011). JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY FOR THE INFORMATION SOCIETY, Vol. 6, No. 60, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1952887

Robert Lemons (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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