October 19, 2011
Daily Facebook Users Less Concerned Over Privacy
The more frequently a person uses Facebook, the less likely they are to have privacy concerns about using the popular online social network, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll.
The survey of more than 2,000 adults found that just one-in-four (26%) daily Facebook users are "very concerned" about privacy, compared with 35 percent of weekly Facebook users and 39 percent of those who use Facebook less frequently.
Facebook is currently testing a number of new features, some of which have raised fresh privacy concerns about the site, which boasts some 800 million users.
Among the next-generation features and applications are "Timeline”, which provides a way to digitally map a member´s entire online lives, and "Open Graph", which automatically shares notices about websites visited and content accessed.
Privacy advocates, civil rights groups and even some lawmakers have asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook's tracking technologies.
Unsurprisingly, just 34% of poll respondents who use Facebook less than once per week were even aware of the new features, compared with 87% of those polled who use Facebook every day.
Among Facebook users who have noticed the new features, 56% said they dislike them, compared with 36% who approve, reports Byron Acohido of USA Today.
Facebook users have traditionally disliked any changes to the site at first, but eventually adapt.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said the company only tracks members who give their consent, and has taken significant steps to "offer people transparency, choice and control over how their data is shared."
But some experts worry that Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and others are working to develop businesses based on gathering vast amounts of data about what members´ online behavior.
"It's kind of a gold rush mentality, and (tracking) data is becoming the holy grail," said Craig Spiezle, executive director of the non-profit Online Trust Alliance, during an interview with USA Today.
Nearly half (48%) of those polled in the survey said they had a Facebook page. Of those, 30% said they use Facebook several times a day, while 29% said they visit the site at least once a day.
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