Social Media Research Raises Privacy and Ethical Concerns
Written by Jessica Judd
Cyber footprints left behind using social media and search engines on the Internet raise concerns with privacy and ethical issues. Every search conducted on the Internet and every post made on Facebook can be monitored by anyone (Jayson, 2014). Cyber footprints are being left, which aids in social media research. Although, personal information should be kept private, users should be weary as their information may be used for research purposes. Between every search on Google or every post on Facebook, social media is in the spotlight as a cause for privacy concerns.
Ways in which social media has raised privacy and ethics issues include the big company of Microsoft, which has been able to identify women at risk of postpartum depression. How they have done this, you may ask. Through online communication, researchers have gathered data, meaning those cyber footprints that have been left behind from searching on the Internet, have been gathered and analyzed by researchers for their studies. Facebook is another example of what could be considered a privacy concern. Facebook has been able to study how parents and their children interact.
These privacy concerns and ethics issues stem from researchers being able to follow in users footsteps online and collect data based on how they are interacting. These issues are still being closely looked at, but Internet users should be aware that it is possible for information to be leaked in order for researchers to gather data and perform a research study.
Jayson, S. (March 12, 2014). Social media research raises privacy and ethics
issues. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/08/data-online-behavior-research/5781447/