The Importance Of Privacy

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In this report, we discuss the following sentiment:
> Privacy in a world of online social networks is an old-fashioned concept and young people feel less need to protect their privacy.
This statement implies that young people do not care about their privacy, and do not act to protect their privacy, at least not as much as their elders.
# Privacy Paradox
The discussed sentiment is known as the privacy paradox. The study that coined this term makes the claim that "Adults are concerned about invasion of privacy, while teens freely give up personal information." The study claims that young people post too much of their private information in public spaces like Facebook and MySpace.
This sentiment was not exclusive to adults either. According
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This is quite old given the relatively young age of social media. As such its ideas and findings may no longer hold true.
The New Privacy Paradox claims that the paradox is in reverse. Younger people are more concerned than older generations, but the services they use require them to give out private information.
The study investigates the correlation between age and measures taken to protect one's privacy. It found that young people are more likely to have changed their privacy settings than older people. This correlation held true even when adjusted for other factors that are often correlated with age, like skilfulness in using social media and level of comfort in using the internet.
As such it does not seem that younger people do not care about their privacy, or that they do not act to protect their privacy. The opposite holds true. It appears that despite wanting more privacy, many young people are forced to give away private information to use services that they deem necessary.
# Necessity of Social
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The question then arises, why do they use services like Facebook which openly violate their privacy? What makes these services necessary?
Another study found that the social cost of not using these social media is simply too high. Social media, especially Facebook, are replacing email and phones as the standard way of communication. Those who do not have an account are often left out. For instance, one participant of the study said that after one of his friends deactivated their Facebook account, people found it annoying to invite that friend to parties. People without a social media account need to be contacted via other means.
The same study however also finds that young people tend to care more about social privacy than institutional privacy. They are much more concerned with access to their information by various individuals or social groups, but they are much less concerned about how companies and governments use or abuse their private information. This is in contrast with how people used to think about privacy.
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