Between public and private: privacy in social networking sites

Reijo Kupiainen, Annikka Suoninen and Kaarina Nikunen

in Children, risk and safety on the internet

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9781847428837
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307723 | DOI:
Between public and private: privacy in social networking sites

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Children and young people have adopted social networking as part of social relationships, learning and creative practices in their everyday life. Different social networking sites (SNS) offer a range of possibilities for children, but they involve also risks such as misuse of personal information and lack of privacy. Traditional boundaries of private and public are challenged in the SNS and networked publics. This chapter examines the questions of privacy and risk potential of SNS. Social networking is popular all over the Europe, but there are also national differences, and parental mediation in particular is closely related to SNS use. This chapter argues that disclosure of personal information or huge amounts of ‘friends’ on SNS do not in itself cause more risk but multiple risk online activity increases the risk of data misuse. Young people do search new friends on the internet as one of the basic logics of social networking but this does not make children especially vulnerable for personal data misuse.

Keywords: Social networking sites; Public networks; Privacy; Profile settings; Misuse of personal data

Chapter.  4234 words.  Illustrated.

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