Sharing Ephemeral Information in Online Social Networks: Privacy Perceptions and Behaviours

  • Bernardo Reynolds
  • Jayant Venkatanathan
  • Jorge Gonçalves
  • Vassilis Kostakos
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6948)


This paper presents a study where the online Facebook practices of a sample of users (n=103) was analysed over a period of two years, via the scraping of data in Facebook and the collection of questionnaire data. The data allows for a contrast between implicit and explicit attitudes regarding Facebook and online sharing. Our analysis reveals that while overall privacy concerns are not reflected in posting behaviour, awareness and familiarity with privacy controls is. This is supported by contrasting users’ attitudes regarding day-to-day sharing against actual behaviour on Facebook. We theorise that there exists a failure in translating users’ privacy needs into a social-technical environment such as social networking sites. This work demonstrates how aspects such as demographics and usage influence and shape users’ behaviour and practices towards privacy. We therefore argue that the factorization of these aspects may augment the translation of users’ privacy needs and improve the design of privacy sensitive mechanisms for day-to-day information sharing.


Social media sharing privacy 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernardo Reynolds
    • 1
  • Jayant Venkatanathan
    • 1
  • Jorge Gonçalves
    • 1
  • Vassilis Kostakos
    • 1
  1. 1.Madeira Interactive Technologies InstituteUniversity of MadeiraPortugal

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