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Abstract

This case examines the data privacy controversies related to Facebook.com, the social networking website, operated by the US based Facebook Inc. Launched in 2004, as a social networking website for the students of Harvard University, Facebook went on to become the largest social networking website in terms of number of users. However, since 2006, different features and applications offered on Facebook led to data privacy controversies. In September 2006, the introduction of News Feed and Mini Feed on Facebook attracted criticism from members. With increasing protest from members of Facebook against News Feed and Mini feed, Zuckerberg issued a letter of apology. Again in 2007, the launch of a 'public facing search function', and Beacon, a new advertising system, were in the midst of controversy. In February 2009, when Facebook Inc revised the website's privacy policy, members of Facebook protested and made the company announce a proposed 'Statement of Rights and Responsibilities' or 'Terms and Service' for governing Facebook. Facebook Inc handled these controversies carefully and continued adding new features on the website. In March 2009, Facebook Inc launched a redesigned home page of Facebook. However, some industry experts still expressed concerns about users' privacy. The case details how Facebook emerged as the largest social networking website in terms of number of users. It also discusses different privacy related controversies associated with Facebook. It ends with the challenges that Facebook may face in the near future.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate courses.
Location:
Industry:
Size:
Medium
Other setting(s):
2004-2009

About

Abstract

This case examines the data privacy controversies related to Facebook.com, the social networking website, operated by the US based Facebook Inc. Launched in 2004, as a social networking website for the students of Harvard University, Facebook went on to become the largest social networking website in terms of number of users. However, since 2006, different features and applications offered on Facebook led to data privacy controversies. In September 2006, the introduction of News Feed and Mini Feed on Facebook attracted criticism from members. With increasing protest from members of Facebook against News Feed and Mini feed, Zuckerberg issued a letter of apology. Again in 2007, the launch of a 'public facing search function', and Beacon, a new advertising system, were in the midst of controversy. In February 2009, when Facebook Inc revised the website's privacy policy, members of Facebook protested and made the company announce a proposed 'Statement of Rights and Responsibilities' or 'Terms and Service' for governing Facebook. Facebook Inc handled these controversies carefully and continued adding new features on the website. In March 2009, Facebook Inc launched a redesigned home page of Facebook. However, some industry experts still expressed concerns about users' privacy. The case details how Facebook emerged as the largest social networking website in terms of number of users. It also discusses different privacy related controversies associated with Facebook. It ends with the challenges that Facebook may face in the near future.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate courses.

Settings

Location:
Industry:
Size:
Medium
Other setting(s):
2004-2009

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