Five Facts Facebook Should Know About Privacy
If the company would remember these five things about privacy, its execs might not shudder at the mere mention of the word.
As the incessant debate over Facebook's privacy policies continues to rage, what's becoming increasingly clear is that people in the fastest-growing Facebook demographic - college-age kids and young adults - don't really care all that much about their privacy. And the majority of Facebook users in just about all the other demographics don't, either.
Poll Position, a public opinion survey outfit in Atlanta, on Tuesday released the results of a survey of respondents to the question, "Are you comfortable with the personal information you provide on Facebook?" The 18-to-29 age group led the pack of "What, me worry?" respondents, as 81 percent said they were comfortable. That compares to 66.9 percent of respondents in the 30-to-44 age group, 69.1 percent of 45-to-64-year-olds, and 49.7 percent of those 65 and over.
According to iStrategyLabs, 30.9 percent of Facebook users are in the 18-24 age group, a jump of 74.1 percent in that group from last year. That age grouping doesn't conform exactly to the Poll Position age grouping, but it's a good indicator that that general range is the one that's growing at the fastest rate.
Scott Wright, a security consultant based in Canada said he was intrigued by the opinion of one academic who pointed out that the notion of privacy differs widely among generations.
"The 20-something view of privacy is basically that their parents not see what they are doing. That's about it," said Wright.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg apparently agrees. Zuckerberg made controversial remarks to a live audience [in early 2010] at an awards event and stated that openly sharing information with many people is today's social norm. He went on to say "We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are." Many have translated this to mean Facebook doesn't think its users want much privacy, and the policies of the site reflect that view.
In any case, the results of the Poll Position survey also found that:
The Poll Position survey, conducted by phone on Dec. 1, polled 1,174 registered voters in the United States. The poll results reflect the responses of the 496 of those voters who said they were Facebook users, and are weighted to be a representative sampling of all American adults.