The Security, Privacy, and Ethical Implications of Social Networking Sites

The Security, Privacy, and Ethical Implications of Social Networking Sites

M. J. Warren, S. Leitch
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7381-6.ch015
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The chapter investigates the security and ethical issues relating to privacy and security. This chapter also examines the ethical issues of new forms of bullying that are being played out weekly in the media: cyber bulling, specifically on SNS such as Facebook. The traditional and direct forms of bullying are being replaced by consistent abuse via SNS due to the ease and accessibility of these new forms of communications.
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Security And Privacy Issues Of Sns

Individuals often fail to understand the implications of making personal information public through SNS’s such as Facebook. Research on various organisations by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the Healthcare Compliance Association revealed that 24% of the organisations had disciplined their employees for inappropriate behaviour on SNS’s and that this behaviour had caused embarrassment for the organisation (Whitney, 2009). For example, pictures uploaded by a finance industry employee disclosed a colleague faking a sick day and the subsequent outcome was that the employee lost their job (McCarthy, 2008).

Research also has shown that SNS’s are leaking individual’s identity information to third parties including data aggregators, which track and aggregate user’s viewing habits for targeted advertising purposes (Warren & Leitch, 2014). One implication for users is having tracking cookies associated with their user identity information taken from their SNS profile. This makes tracking user’s movement across several websites much easier. Although user identities are not directly available to third parties who track users through IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, these IP addresses can be easily related to a particular user and therefore disclose their personal information obtained through the SNS’s (Vijayan, 2009). The leakage of personal information means that the third parties not only obtain a collated collection of users’ behavior but can also discover the viewing habits of specific individuals (Krishnamurthy & Wills, 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Web 1.0: Web pages from earlier Web applications, the information is static.

Internet: An interconnected system of networks that connects computers around the world via the TCP/IP protocol.

Facebook: Online system to allow exchange of information between agreed parties.

SNS: Social Networking Site.

Risk: The possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger.

Web 2.0: Web pages from current Web applications, the information is dynamic and interactive.

Threat: An indication of impending danger or harm.

Social Networking: A term to describe websites that allow people to join a social network and exchange information with their online friends.

Security: Something that gives or assures safety, such as measures adopted by a government to prevent espionage, sabotage or attack, or measures adopted, as by a business or homeowner, to prevent a crime.

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