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Finding relationships in Google+, Facebook may help users improve privacy settings

Last Updated: Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 00:05

Washington: Computer programmers have reportedly discovered that finding relationships in networks like Google Plus and Facebook may help users better protect and maintain their privacy settings.

Researcher Anna Squicciarini said that they want to help users configure privacy to be better protected, but not all users are interested or motivated to change their privacy settings.

The researchers designed a software program to better predict how users might assign privacy levels to new content to different groups of people in their networks.

Squicciarini explained that if users could have privacy settings automatically set when they add new members to their circle or when they add new content, it would improve security, but not affect their experience.

The researchers asked 140 participants, including 62 percent female and 38 percent male, questions about their interests, as well as their social networking habits and attitudes about privacy settings.

However, these settings do not easily allow people to create more specific interests groups within those main categories, nor can the privacy settings be automatically assigned as new contacts join a user`s social network.

Currently, users on Facebook and Google+ networks can manage privacy levels so that their content is only shared with select users, but do not easily allow people to create more specific interests groups within those main categories or modify privacy settings accordingly.

Squicciarini said that such analysis can help to actually observe how users manage their privacy settings in a realistic social networking environment.

First Published: Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 00:05

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