Identity in the Information Society

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 81-93

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

A comparison of privacy issues in collaborative workspaces and social networks

  • Martin PekárekAffiliated withTILT - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society, Universiteit van Tilburg Email author 
  • , Stefanie PötzschAffiliated withFaculty of Computer Science, Technische Universität Dresden


With the advent of Web 2.0, numerous social software applications allow people to publish and share information on the Internet. Two of these types of applications – collaborative workspaces and social network sites – have a number of features in common, which are explored to provide a basis for comparative analysis. This basis is extended with a suitable definition of privacy, a sociological perspective and an applicable adversary model in order to facilitate an investigation of similarities and differences with regard to privacy threats. Practical examples are derived from the use of Wikipedia and Facebook. Analysis suggests that a combination of technical, legal, and normative solutions should be considered to counter privacy issues. A number of potential solutions that may mitigate these issues are proposed.


Collaborative workspaces Comparison Facebook Privacy Privacy issues Social network sites Social software Wikipedia