Privacy Concerns in Social Network Sites

Privacy Concerns in Social Network Sites

Arda Arikan (Akdeniz University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-074-3.ch012

Abstract

In countries where English is not widely and socially used, prospective foreign language teachers cannot functionally use the language they are going to teach in their social environment. This makes social network sites (SNS) symbolically important. However, there are various reasons for these future teachers not fully participating in social networking. The main concern is about privacy. A study was conducted to examine this aspect. One hundred fourteen prospective teachers of English responded to questionnaire about their opinions on privacy issues. Results suggested that gender was a significant factor. Similarly, other factors include: place of residence and the information presented in their SNS pages.
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Background And Research Questions

Using SNS does not come without serious concerns for users. Research has articulated that one’s involvement in SNS translates into disclosure of one’s identity (Ellison, Steinfeld, & Lampe 2007; Kolek & Saunders, 2008; Mazer, Murphy, & Simonds, 2007). Hence, it can be assumed that if there are concerns, hesitations, or deeply rooted fear in one’s mental set about using SNS as for disclosing one’s identity, this feeling may most probably result in the person’s lessening of involvement in SNS. Hence, this paper aims to find out prospective English language teachers’ opinions on their online privacy with some selected variables to understand to what extend some selected variables relate to one’s feeling of disclosure in SNS. It is believed that because SNS are especially important for the language development of the prospective foreign language teachers, studying their privacy concerns can help teacher educators to make these future teachers more open to using SNS. Two main research questions guided this research study in addition to the third one which sought to find whether or not there exists significant relationship between participants’ opinions and some selected variables:

  • 1.

    How do the participants feel about the possibility that other users read their SNS activity?

  • 2.

    How do the participants feel about the possibility that other people use their personal information against them?

  • 3.

    Is there significant relationship between participants’ opinions in relation to some selected variables?

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