Social Enterprise

Infographic: Social media privacy

This infographic illustrates the general feelings that users have about their online privacy expectations in regards to participating in social media.

The infographic below, courtesy of MDG Advertising, suggests a general resignation toward social media privacy. Those surveyed acknowledge that it's hard to keep information private -- or even know what information is being collected -- in short, there's a healthy lack of trust for social media even among people who are regular participants. It's not that surprising. We eat potato chips, knowing all about the fat and calories, but I don't think Lay's is in any danger of going out of business.

If you're trying to educate users in your organization about the safe use of social media, this infographic might make a good conversation-starter for a presentation.

Click to get a larger view.


Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...


I am not sure if the irony was intentional, but I was amused at the infographic in the middle right showing that avid social media users (birdie) are more likely to be less concerned now about their privacy than they had been before, while the non-users (egg) are as concerned as ever. "Avid social media users are less concerned about their privacy," is the infographic's just-the-facts takeaway. It seems to ignore what seems an obvious causality when you reverse the proposition: those who are more concerned about their privacy are less likely to use social media (due to the privacy threats they cause), or, further, the use of social media tends to erode one's concern about privacy (the, "well, everybody's doing it, so it must be okay" effect). I think it would be very interesting to explore these propositions, but that would require a better-constructed survey.


The only thing we can trust any company to do is what is in its own best interest. That does not mean that companies are evil and don't care about us. After all, they need us to decide to spend money on their products, visit their web sites and so on. But we should never treat them as if they have our interests as their primary concern. Trust but verify.

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