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Updated: January 8, 2010 15:36 IST

Facebook, Twitter users endangering their right to privacy, says expert

ANI
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A file photo shows a Facebook user editing his privacy settings.
AP A file photo shows a Facebook user editing his privacy settings.

Facebook and Twitter users might be undermining their right to privacy, warns an expert.

Employers and the authorities have started keeping a track of the social networking sites where users bare their personal lives to the world, unwittingly inviting them in to view compromising photographs and messages.

“Users of new media, in their self-disclosure, are often as complicit in assaults on our privacy as the authorities which orchestrate surveillance,” the Telegraph quoted Dr. Kieron O’Hara, a computer scientist and philosopher, of the University of Southampton, as saying.

Kimberley Swann, 16, was sacked from her job as an office administrator in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, last year after posting status updates about how boring the work was.

Another employee in telecommunications company in Sydney, named Kyle Doyle, was caught faking a sick day when he boasted about it on Facebook in October 2008.

Employees from large companies such as Marks and Spencer, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have also been caught posting rude comments about their customers on Facebook forums.

Experts at a conference organised by London School of Economics and Political Science have cautioned that sharing intimate details on the sites could damage personal relationships.

“As new technology and social media encourage sharing of the small details of everyday life, it also reduces privacy in social relationships, and may have negative effects on intimacy levels between people,” said Dr Adam Joinson of the University of Bath, an expert in computer communication. “If you desire intimacy, it may well be disastrous to add your partner to Facebook, or to follow them on Twitter,” he added.

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