The past few years have provided tremendous growth and challenges for social media websites. Although more people and companies are finding innovative ways to use these websites, their successes have been marred by privacy concerns. In fact, as the popularity of social media continues to grow, the focus on privacy protection becomes even sharper among those who use these websites.
Here are 5 privacy concern to look for in 2013:
Privacy policies may be overlooked when websites merge
As smaller and up-and-coming social media websites merge and larger websites continue the trend of acquiring start-ups, companies some privacy policies and features can sometimes be overlooked. When companies merge they often add plug-ins and applications to help promote the acquisition. As they rush to add more features and functionality to their websites, they could potentially overlook key privacy considerations. After all, when one company merges with another or when they add new technological features, there always seem to be a few “growing pains” along the way.
Single access sign-on can be a red flag for privacy
Many websites are using single access sign-on technology. This function allows users to log-in once and then use multiple websites without the need to sign-in again. As the use of single access sign-in becomes more common, it is likely that websites will also start to share information allowing social media websites to show your actions and activities on other websites. Social media websites will have to take care to ensure user privacy; otherwise this highly convenient feature could become a liability.
As people increase the amount of information they share on social media websites, the need for heightened security and privacy controls also increases. The big giants in the social media world possess a mind-boggling amount of personal information about the people who use their websites. Without good universal guidelines on how this information can be gathered and used, it could be misused, either intentionally or unintentionally. Additionally, most people do not really understand how to recognize the potential for information misuse. People often share information innocently because they want to use a specific feature, or because they wish to qualify for a free product or service.
It is likely that there will be further progress made in 2013 towards universal legislation on privacy regulations and security.
Using social media marketing without privacy intrusion
In recent years there has been an explosion of companies that have been utilizing the advertising and marketing benefits of social media.
Social media websites as well as the companies who use them for marketing will have to be careful to walk a fine line between effective marketing and privacy intrusion. As more people become aware of privacy intrusion issues, they will also likely become more leery and distrustful.
Companies that wish to be successful with these kinds of marketing and advertising efforts will have to pay close attention to the privacy needs of their users.
Social media websites using location-based services need to avoid privacy nightmares
Social media websites are increasingly using mobile devices and location-based services. This creates even more privacy concerns. Without the guidance of overall legislation and privacy laws, websites will be on their own to figure out how best to leverage location-based services.
Social media websites that utilize location-based services will have to focus on user privacy and security concerns, if they expect people to put their trust in them. If used properly, these services open up a whole new world of social media interactivity. However, if used improperly, the results could be a privacy nightmare.
Keep in mind some of these privacy concerns the next time you are using a social media website or as you advertise your business online. In the future will become even more important for individuals and business to take the proper actions and precautions to protect themselves against privacy and security risks.
(Image credit to pcworld.com)