The paper aims at a multi‐faceted review of scholarly work, analyzing the current state of empirical studies dealing with privacy and online social networking (OSN) as well as the theoretical “puzzle” of privacy approaches related to OSN usage from the background of diverse disciplines. Drawing on a more pragmatic and practical level, aspects of privacy management are presented as well.
Based on individual privacy concerns and also publicly communicated threats, information privacy has become an important topic of public and scholarly discussion. Beside diverse positive aspects of OSN sites for users, their information is for example also being used for data mining and profiling, pre‐recruiting information as well as economic espionage. This review highlights information privacy mainly from an individual point‐of‐view, focusing on the usage of OSN sites (OSNs).
This analysis of scholarly work shows the following findings: first, adults seem to be more concerned about potential privacy threats than younger users; second, policy makers should be alarmed by a large part of users who underestimate risks of their information privacy on OSNs; third, in the case of using OSNs and its services, traditional one‐dimensional privacy approaches fall short. Hence, findings of this paper further highlight the necessity to focus on multidimensional and multidisciplinary frameworks of privacy, for example considering a so‐called “privacy calculus paradigm” and rethinking “fair information practices” from a more and more ubiquitous environment of OSNs.
The results of the work presented in this paper give new opportunities for research as well as suggestions for privacy management issues for OSN providers and users.
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