Facebook User Privacy: Are Facebook Users Sharing More Information than Ever?

Facebook Inc. (FB)Facebook User Privacy: Many people are frightened by the thought of their privacy being invaded by doing nothing more than using Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). While the social networking giant has tried its best to put these thoughts to rest, there is no way of escaping privacy concerns altogether.

Hedge funds, on the whole, were very bullish on Facebook last quarter. The total size of the funds we track that were invested in the company grew by nearly 40% from Q3; that’s a huge spike (see why it’s always important to pay attention to the smart money).

According to an article by ABC News, Facebook users may think they are guarding their privacy but along the way they are likely sharing more personal information than ever before.

This information is courtesy of a study completed by Carnegie Mellon University. Here is what the article had to say:

“As the social network made changes to its user interface and settings, the study found people were more likely to share additional private information with friends and a group the researchers call the “silent listeners.”

“The silent listeners include Facebook, third-party app developers and advertisers.”

“The researchers used data from 5,076 Facebook users in the university’s network to study how privacy and disclosure evolved from 2005 until 2011.”

It is amazing to believe that people think they are keeping their personal information private on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), just to find that nothing could be further from the truth.

ABC News reached out to Jules Polonetsky, director and co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum, for a professional opinion:

“More people are being more active, but they’re doing it in a way that allows them to interact more directly with the audience they intend to.”

“When Facebook started out, it was a very public place. Most of us joined regional networks and anything you did, including your pictures and updates were available to everyone in the network.”

To better understand the study, you can read all 36 pages here.

ABC News received the following response from a company spokesperson when asked to comment:

“Independent research has verified that the vast majority of the people on Facebook are engaging with and using our straightforward and powerful privacy tools — allowing them to control what they’re sharing, and with whom they’re sharing.”

Check back here for more updates on Facebook User Privacy.

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DISCLOSURE: I have no positions in any stock mentioned.

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