Be the first to like.

Share

It is crucial to consider whether researchers conducting observational research using social media need to obtain consent from their research subjects, and whether the current research regulations in the United States establish effective, ethical procedures for obtaining consent for such studies. To determine how to regulate research conducted using social media and the Internet, we must consider whether social media and other digital spaces are public or private domains.

The U.S. Supreme Court has traditionally supported a distinction between public domains, in which information is visible to virtually anyone, and private domains, in which one has “a reasonable expectation of privacy,” i.e., one would not think one’s activities could be observed or reported. Whether or not the expectation of privacy is reasonable is very subjective: the courts have never specified who defines reasonability, and what is considered reasonable depends on the public’s evolving attitudes toward privacy. While many are aware that advertisers and social media platforms can gain access to some elements of our data, millions of Facebook users were surprised to learn that Cambridge Analytica, a political research firm, had accessed user data on behalf of the Trump campaign. What might once have been considered a reasonable expectation of privacy could not be considered so in the future as public knowledge of the policies and practices of social media providers and users has changed. At the same time, it is widely acknowledged that once someone shares information on social media without restricting access to that information, the person no longer controls how it is used or who sees and, therefore, does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

…continue reading ‘Social Media, Privacy, and Research: A Muddled Landscape’

Image: By Ibrahim.ID – Own work based on:file:F icon.svgfile:Twitter logo.svgfile:Twitter Logo Mini.svgfile:Blogger icon.svgfile:Digg.svgfile:Delicious.svgfile:Flickr.svgfile:Google plus icon.svgfile:Linkedin icon.svgfile:Instagram Shiny Icon.svgfile:Myspace icon.jpgfile:Openid.svgfile:Pinterest Shiny Icon.svgfile:Quora icon.pngfile:Sharethis.svgfile:Rss-feed.svgfile:Skype-icon.pngfile:StumbleUpon Logo.svgfile:Vimeo.svgfile:Soundcloud-logo-black.pngfile:Logo Youtube.svg, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46074461

Be the first to like.

Share
The Hastings Center

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply