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Shocker: 30% of People Submit False Info to Social Networks

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A recent study done by London-based emedia reveals that nearly two thirds of social networking users are worried about the safety of their personal data on these sites. About 31% of those surveyed have used false information about themselves to protect their identity.

This is an important consideration as the walled-garden effect of social networks comes tumbling down, with personal data becoming available in searches outside of these networks, and some even appearing on major search engines. With other tools like social network profile aggregators, it's very likely that your information, albeit not always personally identifiable, will show up in places you're not even aware of.


This can be unsettling for many. But what does it mean for the social networks? They'll need to continue to improve safety and privacy settings options for their services. This is increasingly important as sites like Facebook become more of a people search engine, and both Facebookand MySpace are offering up personal data from user profiles for advertising purposes. If the result of such actions is for users to falsify data, how does that affect potential advertising revenue, if at all?


As the report did not indicate why 62% of users are fearful of having personal data online, there's little indication as to what the larger implications are, but providing better privacy settings is one step in the right direction.


Source : http://mashable.com/2007/09/18/emedia-privacy-study/#tbk.6HNSoEq9


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