Social Networking

Social networking sites have become increasingly popular among Canadian Internet users. According to a poll by TNS Canadian Facts, a Canadian marketing and social research firm, online teens and young adults are the heaviest users of social networking sites, with 83% of 13-17 year olds and 74% of 18-29 year olds having visited at least one such site. Six in 10 people in their 30s have visited at least one social networking site and 45% of those in their 40s have done so.

On our Blog, we have posted a presentation on social networking entitled “What Would You Want a Friend of a Friend of a Friend to Know about You?”. We have also added it to this site to raise public awareness about the privacy implications of social networking.

From our point of view as privacy advocates, a lot of online users do not take the time to really read and understand the user agreements required by all social networks. As online media consumers, we are used to “clicking” a box and ignoring the text inside.

It’s becoming obvious that a lot of Canadians - and others - are signing over their privacy rights to these companies in exchange for access to increasingly popular social networks.

This is a choice Canadians can make, but we would hope that people would take a minute to think about their choices - and how much information they end up handing over to corporations, advertisers and marketing companies.

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