Privacy on Social Networks: American, Chinese, and Indian Perspectives – IEEE Spectrum

Shared with me by a student (self-referentially anonymised for public broadcast but thanks, you know who you are!) this is a brief article about a research paper comparing attitudes to privacy and trust on social network sites in different countries – specifically, India, China and the US.

Some of the differences are to be expected – telemarketers and poor privacy laws probably account for a little of the greater reticence to share private information in the US, for example, and the article mentions use of fake identities in China due to fear of restrictive governments. But there are some big disparities that may point to more profound cultural differences. It would be interesting to explore the extent to which this is determined by surrounding culture and context, and how much by the path dependencies of the popular social network sites in these countries. For instance, Facebook itself, with its famously callous and exploitative regard for user privacy, might have a lot to do with the apparently greater concerns for privacy in the US. Yang Wang’s site has more interesting research in this area at

Address of the bookmark:

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology and teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems, of which I am the Chair. I am married, with two grown-up children, and live in beautiful Vancouver.

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