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Privacy on Social Networks Essay

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This essay will discuss and critically analyse whether or not existing data protection laws protect the privacy of individuals whose personal information has been disclosed on social networking sites.

Over the last decade social networking sites (SNS) have increased their popularity among the people. These SNS are mySpace, facebook, twitter, bebo etc. There are various reasons of people using these sites. However, majority of SNS users are those people who use these sites for social networking e.g. chatting with friends, sharing their interests etc. These SNS users do not only have data relating to them but also the data of third parties. Many of these users do not take care of other people’s personal information, for example, they share their family and friends information with other strange people. It is not that only SNS users do not take essential care of other’s personal information, SNS themselves seems uninterested to protect personal information of its users.

One should know what personal information is according to data protection directive? According to (article 2 (a)) of the data protection Directive, the information that qualifies as personal information is “Information only qualifies as personal data if it directly or indirectly relates to an identified or identifiable natural person. In order to determine whether a person is identifiable, account should be taken of all the means likely to be reasonably used either by the controller or by any other person to identify the said person (recital 26). As a result, most information that is made available on a social network (messages, photos, personal preferences, lists of friends) qualifies as personal data”. (Eecke, P V., and Truyens, M, 2010)

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...ivacy [Accessed 23/11/2010].

Michells, S (2008) Teachers’ Virtual Lives Conflict With Classroom [Online] .Available from: http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=4791295&page=1 [Accessed 01/12/2010].

King, J., N and Jessen, W, P () Computer Law & Security Review: Profiling the mobile customer – Privacy concerns whe behavioral advertisers target mobile phones. [Online]. Volume 26, Issue 5, September 2010, Pages 455-478. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VB3-5148KHG-2&_user=7302582&_coverDate=09%2F30%2F2010&_rdoc=2&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_origin=browse&_zone=rslt_list_item&_srch=doc-info%28%23toc%235915%232010%23999739994%232448744%23FLA%23display%23Volume%29&_cdi=5915&_sort=d&_docanchor=&_ct=13&_acct=C000010139&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=7302582&md5=53de92f66e34be4a93c2b10f879597a0&searchtype=a [Accessed 02/12/2010].


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