Privacy Policies in Social Media

ImageIt’s important for companies to concern themselves with the best privacy practices because it opens up clear communication with their audience. It’s important for businesses to be transparent, to avoid miscommunication and to build brand loyalty. Companies will accumulate revenue if their consumers trust them, and one way to build trust is to set up a clear, concise, and simple privacy policy. Companies must understand that consumers don’t like to read the fine print; they don’t want to spend too much time reading anything for that matter. So the key for a good private policy starts with knowing your audience. Let’s take Google Buzz’s privacy policy for example. Google created Google Buzz as a way to compete with Twitter and Facebook. People will automatically have suggestions of who to follow based on the people they chat and email with most. Google Buzz’s default settings made the user’s activities completely public with hidden options to opt out, so people freaked out when they realized their content was public. Their privacy setting shows the lack of transparency and lack of audience awareness. Google should have been aware of user behavior and that people just click defaults for all their settings when they are trying to check something out. People are not going to hassle themselves with reading the default settings, and it may sound silly and the fault of the consumer, but ultimately it’s the company that will suffer. This is why it’s important for companies to look beyond technicality, and pay attention to how their users will behave and what they will and will not notice.

            Twitter’s privacy policy, on the flip side, is broken down into sections; it’s organized and easy to follow. Twitter lays out what you are giving them consent to do when you choose an option. They tell you what information they can share of yours with or without consent. The language is easy to follow, and it’s not too long so consumers don’t zone out.


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7 thoughts on “Privacy Policies in Social Media

  1. Tumblr recently updated their privacy policy and even included a little “laymen’s terms” boxes below to help people understand what the terms were. The weird thing about all these privacy policies is that they may not be selling our information, but they’re also keeping it in. We have less of an idea of what Google has on us. Just how much are they collecting? Isn’t there a better use for it?


  2. We should all know and understand by now the fact that all information we put out into the internet, whether we delete it or not, or there is a privacy policy issued with the specific site, it will always be around there somewhere. There is and never will be any “privacy” on the internet, no matter what sites say and do and that needs to be addressed and understood before people continue to put too much out there.


  3. I really agree with the idea that nothing on the internet will never be “private” and even something that you delete after one minute is still floating around somewhere. I don’t think people take this into consideration and they don’t realize that even putting your profiles on private there are still a number of ways to access peoples information.


  4. I agree with all the comments above, it is important to be aware of our lack of privacy on the Internet. Even if your profile is set to private, there are always people who can make their way past those barriers.


  5. This is extremely relevant as people do not read privacy policies and choose to just opt in because everyone is using that form of social media. It is important that user’s know what they are getting themselves into and they can’t always expect the company to be transparent with what is changing.


  6. While privacy policies can be extremely wordy and daunting to read, it really is important for people to read them so that they know what they’re getting into. I remember when Instagram changed their’s briefly so it read that any photos posted would be property of Instagram. That definitely caused an outrage. Twitter also recently changed theirs so that blocking someone would no longer prevent them from following you, which was also an outrage and they quickly changed it back. It’s interesting how no one reads privacy policies but then when a change happens and one person finds out and thinks it makes a difference, it causes a fire storm.


  7. In 2014spring semester, I also did a research in digital meida law class, which is similar to this Internet Privacy topic. And I found that as Internet users we are, there is no efficient way for us to prevent our privacy being infringed. No matter what the policies the Internet company decides to apply, we have to accept them if we want to catch up with the internet popular trend. Even the law is left behind in the privacy protection.


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