Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Blog

To Be Public Or Private?

We’ve all heard countless stories that have come up about Facebook’s privacy settings, so a law has been proposed in California trying to enforce stricter privacy settings on social media sites. The law wishes to make all newly created accounts private as default and this will affect Facebook as well as other social networking platforms. This has caused an uproar from internet companies and trade associations arguing “that it would have “unintended consequences” making their companies suffer negative effects. They stated new users on their sites would have to make “uninformed decisions” about their privacy settings before they ever used the social networking site. This should be the opposite because if users never used the site before, wouldn’t they want more privacy before they opened their information to the public?

The bill will only take effect in California if it’s passed, but it’s a possibility in the future it will become mandatory for all sites and states to utilize this feature. To say that this will have a negative effect on business for these social media providers seems implausible. It should be a person’s choice to make their information public. If the site makes accounts private initially, the user will feel more secure and he or she can decide later what they wish to make known to their followers/friends. Ultimately people are responsible for what they allow others to see, but once an account is created the information they are providing should belong to that individual until they choose who can access it. At the end of the day companies should want their users to feel safe and protected on their sites and if and when they do, the user can loosen the privacy settings on their own time and at their discretion.

 Thank you all again for reading and if you wish to see the full article, please click on the link below. Leave a comment about how you feel toward the bill proposal. It will be interesting to see what you think! Until next week…

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/16/sb242-privacy-law-california_n_862381.html

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Filed under: Social Media

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