ATTITUDES OF SOCIAL MEDIA USERS TOWARDS ONLINE PRIVACY IN TIMES OF A PANDEMIC: PRIVACY CONFIGURATION AND PROFILE DISCLOSURE ON FACEBOOK
1 Universidade Europeia (PORTUGAL)
2 Universidade Europeia & Socius/CSG, ISEG-Universidade de Lisboa (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply changed the way of living, social interactions, and consumption habits around the world. During periods of confinement, Portuguese consumers spent more time on social networks. The percentage of people who used these platforms for more than an hour a day increased by close to 10 percentage points compared to the pre-pandemic period, “jumping” from 46% to 55%. In this scenario, an intense discussion about the issues of online privacy, in different social networks but also in the distance learning platforms, was brought to light. Thereby, this study aimed to investigate the following question: What are the attitudes of social network users regarding online privacy, namely regarding the role of privacy settings and profile disclosure? To that end, it was decided to replicate the research conducted by Stern and Salb, based on the Rational Action Theory model, within the Facebook social network. An age-moderating variable was included in the initial model. A hypothesis study using quantitative methodology was carried out through in-person and online questionnaires for people aged between 13 and 90, in a total of 216 participants. Once tested the 14 hypotheses of the study it was not possible to prove that the risks to privacy precede the attitudes of Facebook users. The results showed that the greater the expected benefit, the more favorable the user attitude towards the social network will be and that there is a greater use of the social network when the attitudes and influence of social norms are favorable to it. It was shown that the greater the use of the social network, the greater the predisposition for disclosure of personal profile and for the use of privacy settings. Similarly, it has been shown that the more these settings are used, the greater will be the disclosure of the user's personal profile. Finally, it has been shown that age positively moderates the relationship between social norms and the use of the social network and, in turn, it is positively affected by age in the disclosure of personal profile and privacy settings. From a reputational standpoint, it is proposed that Facebook advertisers ensure clarity and transparency about the use of personal data. This digital privacy literacy and pedagogical component will encourage users to trust advertisers even more and maintain Facebook's level of use. Implications for safe remote learning are discussed.
Keywords: Social Media Use, Online Privacy, Facebook, Digital, Covid 19, Remote learning.