Canada Dashboard Digest

Student Prank Teaches Privacy Lesson

SOCIAL NETWORKING

February 12, 2010

While Canada's privacy commissioner has been examining how the world's most popular social networking site handles personal information, a group of University of Lethbridge students have conducted their own experiment and learned a privacy lesson in the process, the Calgary Herald reports. The group created an imaginary Facebook profile and began sending online friend requests to classmates to see how they would react. The experiment quickly grew out of control, the report states, prompting the group to delete the account two days later. Noting the presence of fake profiles on social networking sites to gather personal information, Professor Mary Dyck, an expert in the inappropriate use of online communities, notes that the more information they post online, the more vulnerable users are to "bullying, targeted marketing, predators, unwanted harassment and intrusions and feelings of discomfort."
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