Privacy and Social Media: Do Users Really Care?
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Over the last decade, social media networks have experienced explosive growth. Social media has become a common form of communication for most people, and the average person spends more and more time in front of the computer. We are exposing ourselves online, and consequently leaving more personal information on the Internet than ever before. Resulting in personalization and individualism being the drivers of the networks, and this has been made possible by huge amounts of data. The thesis studies to what degree users care about privacy on social media platforms. To investigate to what extent users share information and are aware of information being shared with third-party companies, we constructed the following research questions; 1. Do social media networks protect the personal information of their users in the same fashion or are there any differences?2. Other than the social media network itself, who else collects information about its users and how is the information spread between parties?3. What do social media users know in the terms of how and how much information is being spread? Do they care? Through a documentation analysis, the thesis has examined the documentations provided by different social media networks. The thesis has analysed different third-party companies present on various websites. A mapping of these finding was done to illustrate the large web they conclude. Through conducting a user survey, the thesis gained insight into Norwegian social media users habits and their knowledge concerning the discussed topics. An evaluation of our findings ultimately leads to the conclusion of the privacy paradox holding true for the users involved in our study. We found that users claim to care about privacy online and that many have knowledge concerning the aspects analysed. However, they do not read the documentation and still utilise the services provided without having a clear understanding of how the technologies work on the Internet.