How Canadians feel about sharing information online

Delvinia is a Toronto-based company that helps other companies understand the internet and make it a better place. In order to be useful to their clients they study online culture, and recently they released research into how Canadians use social networking sites and how they feel about sharing their personal information.

Personally, their findings give me a little hope because people seem to understand that blindly sharing their info isn’t a good idea. Still, there is room for improvement as to communicating the reasons why people shouldn’t put all their info online.

Another reason that people should be hesitant to share their lives online is that social networking sites don’t delete photos even if the user thinks that they have.

Delvina’s study can be downloaded here.

SOCIAL NETWORKING
Highlights about Canada’s view towards Social Networking include:

– 83% of female Canadians aged 18-30 feel digital technology allows for easier social connections, compared to their male counterparts at 76%.

– Only 6% of NGen and 4% of Gen X report visiting recent media darling, Twitter, in the last month. The same as other, less talked about social networks including Hi5, DIGG and Tagged.

– There is a significant difference between how frequently Canadians visit social network sites vs. post content. YouTube experiences the greatest difference between views and posts – for example, while 83% of NGen visited YouTube only 6% posted content. While 59% of Boomers visited the site, only 4% posted content.

Facebook is “a minefield of privacy invasion”

Another week and another accusation that Facebook destroys people’s privacy. However, this accusation could end up changing Facebook in Canada. The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), run out of the University of Ottawa, has filed a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada that outlines 22 problems with Facebook.

The complaint that CIPPIC sent in lists the points succinctly:

We submit that Facebook is violating Principles 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.7, and 4.8 of PIPEDA,
Schedule 1 by failing to:
• Identify all the purposes for which it collects Users’ personal information (Principle 4.2);
• Obtain informed consent from Users and non-Users to all uses and disclosures of their
personal information (Principle 4.3);
• Allow Users to use its service without consenting to supply unnecessary personal
information (Principle 4.3.3);
• Obtain express consent to share Users’ sensitive information (Principle 4.3.6);
• Allow Users who have deactivated their accounts to easily withdraw consent to share
information (Principle 4.3.8);
• Limit the collection of personal information to that which is necessary for its stated
purposes (Principle 4.4);
• Be upfront about its advertisers’ use of personal information and the level of Users’
control over their privacy settings (Principle 4.4.2);
• Destroy personal information of Users who terminate their use of Facebook services
(Principle 4.5);
• Safeguard Users’ personal information from unauthorized access (Principle 4.7); and
• Explain policies and procedures on the range of personal information that is disclosed to
third party advertisers and application developers (Principle 4.8).

Ars Technica has an article summarizing CIPPIC’s stance:

CIPPIC points out a number of other violations that have raised the eyebrows of users for some time now. Facebook fails to disclose why every third-party Facebook application must have access to every bit of a user’s personal data (this is something that annoys me, personally), and requires the submission of a user’s date of birth upon registration even though there are no age guidelines for using the service. Facebook also fails to obtain express consent to share users’ personal information by making all information partially public by default (users can change privacy settings after saving the information first). The same goes for photographs uploaded by the user, or photos uploaded and tagged by others that then show up on the user’s profile by default—whether they like it or not.

Read the report from CIPPIC (PDF)

Mixi claims rights on all content

Japan’s hugely popular social networking site Mixi is in hot water this week after news [ja] that a proposed revision to its Terms of Use (ToU), to become effective as of April 1st, will force its users to agree to grant Mixi no-royalty, non-exclusive rights over all content published on the site, retroactively applicable to all content uploaded before the changes to the ToU. This means that Mixi can potentially use any content on its servers (including messages sent through its messaging service), ignoring access controls on such content, and potentially profit from it. (link)