Facebook mobile privacy concerns are rising faster than Google’s.The latest incidents about release of individual Facebook information caused public uproar among members, consumer protection organizations and Congress.
According to Facebook, more than 250 million users access its site through mobile devices, usage growing 300% in the past year. Mobile phone and wireless device users, moreover, are twice as active as non-mobile members. Worldwide, over 200 mobile carriers in 60 countries actively promote Facebook products and services.
comScore and Nielsen’s latest research on Facebook and social media shows:
- Over 25 million mobile phone users visited Facebook in January, 2010, up 112% from a year earlier, not including smartphone access through apps
- 31% of smartphone web surfers visit social networking sites compared to 7% among those with feature phones, intensifying the Facebook mobile privacy debate.
- Women and 35-54 year olds represent the largest mobile social networking devotees. In December, 2009, 55% were women, 45% men. Teens and young adults (18-24) only represent 7%-16% of total mobile social media users
- 36% of total mobile social networking is done by 35-54 year-olds
Facebook claims that its privacy settings, despite their complexity, protect its members. Yet, recent releases of member chat and other information are causing alarms among members, privacy watchdogs and legislators.
Evolving Facebook Mobile Privacy
Due to changing standards especially among the young, people today reveal more about their personal lives than their parents. What was once confidential has become public. What was previously shared in private conversations is now written on “walls” or in tweets. Users upload pictures and videos for public viewing. Mobile phones only make it easier to share personal information on multiple social networking sites..
Facebook’s CEO Matt Zuckerberg, despite concerns among Facebook employees and users, has continually pushed for greater personal information sharing . In a MarketingBeyond parody post called “Zuckerberg & Social Network Alliance Announces Non-Social Media Websites,” I wrote about a fictitious “Social Networking Federation,” a consortium of major social network websites targeted at individuals who dislike each other, share few interests and want to vent about their least favorite social media site.
Although it’s a parody piece, it says a lot about our inclination to reach out to others on digital channels. Social networking sites have made it easy to stay in touch, share music, tell people about personal and business activities and feel connected. We’ve moved past personal encounters to a Web-clogged world of shared personal information.
Considering the huge adoption of worldwide Facebook use, online and mobile privacy will continue to grow. But in a world of geotagging and available personal information,. Facebook, other social networking sites and users should protect themselves while surfing the Web.