A study on privacy concerns across social networking sites: An Indian perspective


Various past studies on online privacy have described different aspects of users’ privacy concerns. The objective behind this paper is to build up empirical evidence between existing theories with subsequent reactions from users utilising social networking sites. An online survey of 352 social networking users was conducted whereby respondents were asked to respond on identified variables of privacy while utilising social networking sites. The outcomes show that effective notification, securitisation and legalisation of privacy policies have a positive impact on privacy concerns. More interestingly, the results demonstrate that an apparent absence of legitimate approach or legislative direction would result in users’ endeavour to withdraw their respective data from the social networking site. To understand user privacy concerns and for better results, researchers need to give more consideration to the website privacy control mechanisms and judiciary systems worldwide emphasising on creating prominent self-controls. Website regulators can enhance user privacy by additionally characterising and enhancing the legitimate system for ensuring user protection on the web. This paper attempts to understand the existing privacy structure on social networking sites and impact of these control measures on user online privacy concerns.

Keywords: Online privacy, Social networking sites, Government of India, Privacy concern


The constantly increasing usage of the internet and the database of Individual Identifiable Information (I3) has been raising serious privacy concerns over the past few decades. To be specific, there are concerns about how database holders of Individual Identifiable Information (I3) collect data over various online platforms. This process primarily involves three players: developers, government, and users (Stewart & Segars, 2002). Developers across various online platforms, at present, are facing rough pronouncements while creating their privacy strategies and policies (Rosen, 2001). These informational databases can be lucrative for online site administrators as they can commercially transfer it to third parties i.e. marketers, in order to improve their respective product offerings and services (Charters, 2002). Additionally, numerous third parties are involved in collecting, analysing, interpretation and commercialising individual information (Lowry, Cao, & Everard, 2011). Perhaps, gathering and storing users’ personal information on social networking sites also includes substantial risk, as evidenced in case of Cambridge Analytica using social media profile data for political campaigning (Dasgupta, 2018).Read Full Article