Golbeck, J., Mauriello, M. (July 2014)
User Perception of Facebook App Data Access: A Comparison of Methods and Privacy Concerns
Despite privacy concerns, social media users continue to
share vast amounts of personal information online, and to use
services that can access this data. But are users fully aware of
what information they are sharing when they install an app,
or are they making these decisions from a weak position? In
this paper, we focused on Facebook apps and set out to understand
how well informed users are about the information
they are sharing and how concerned they are about privacy.
We recruited 120 subjects for an experiment. Subjects completed
a survey about their beliefs and concerns regarding
the information Facebook apps could access in their profiles.
They were shown additional information from different
sources that explained what data apps could access, and
then asked to re-take the survey. We found that after viewing
the information about app data access, overall concern about
privacy on Facbeook increased, as did concern about identity
theft, and unauthorized people gaining access to subjects'
data. Furthermore, after viewing the data, subjects had a better
understanding of what data apps were able to access from
their profile. At the same time, even after viewing explicit
information on the topic, many subjects still did not fully understand
what data apps could access.
We present the results of our study, address how these results
can inform future work on educating users about privacy
risks and policies, discuss and the implications this has for
cybersecurity, social media, and HCI.