March 2014: The Clash between Privacy and Automation in Social Media

posted Mar 12, 2014, 12:13 AM by Symeon Papadopoulos
Sami Vihavainen, Airi Lampinen, Antti Oulasvirta, Suvi Silfverberg, Asko Lehmuskallio, "The Clash between Privacy and Automation in Social Media," IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 56-63, Jan.-Mar. 2014, doi:10.1109/MPRV.2013.25

Abstract: Classic research on human factors has found that automation never fully eliminates the human operator from the loop. Instead, it shifts the operator's responsibilities to the machine and changes the operator's control demands, sometimes with adverse consequences, called the "ironies of automation." In this article, the authors revisit the problem of automation in the era of social media, focusing on privacy concerns. Present-day social media automatically discloses information, such as users' whereabouts, likings, and undertakings. This review of empirical studies exposes three recurring privacy-related issues in automated disclosure: insensitivity to situational demands, inadequate control of nuance and veracity, and inability to control disclosure with service providers and third parties. The authors claim that "all-or-nothing" automation has proven problematic and that social network services should design their user controls with all stages of the disclosure process in mind.