User Perspective of Privacy Exposure on Facebook: An Examination of Risks Perception Among University Students in Sweden

by Silvia Anderchen

Institution: Linnæus University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Social media; social networking sites; Facebook; third parties; personal information privacy; risks perception; big data; university students; Engineering and Technology; Teknik och teknologier; Informationssystem, magisterprogram, 60 hp; Master Programme in Information Systems, 60 credits; Informatik; Informatics
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2064502
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-54157


Social media become a powerful communication medium for effective online social interaction globally. The use of various social networking sites has integrated into people’s daily lives especially among young adults. Problem arises when personal information is used without individuals’ involvement and relevant privacy risks increased. The main focus for the thesis is to investigate privacy perception and risks knowledge of Facebook usage among university students in Sweden. Based on this focus, the research identifies the key reasons that students decide to use and still use Facebook despite of privacy risks. The study also explores how user perspective of privacy affects the utilization of Facebook. The adopted methodology is qualitative research through the methods of interview and Facebook data analysis among ten young adult students at Linnaeus University in Sweden. As result, the research has identified seven concepts and three special outcomes to answer the research questions. Through the analysis, we have recognized weak perception of privacy risks among university students. Although users claim they are privacy concerned yet large amount of private information is shared on Facebook. The findings have shown that users are somewhat willing to accept certain part of potential privacy risks and personal information usage by different parties, in exchange for benefits and needs of online interaction in today’s modern society. Users believe the shared personal information on Facebook is under control and they can prepare for possible consequences. However, we believe that people’s needs for popular online social interaction outweigh privacy concerns. We suggest that it is significantly important for social networking sites’ users to balance benefits and risks, in order to maintain balanced usage and positive effects of online personal privacy. In the end of the thesis, we have suggested two future research directions based on our research topic.