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Social Networking Privacy: Something To Tweet About?

By Minara El-Rahman on July 19, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Social networking on the Internet no doubt is the current and perhaps future Big Thing.  But how confident are social networkers that their privacy is protected?  Not so much, according to a recent Marist Poll.

Indeed, the poll indicates that 23% are "very concerned" and another 27% are "concerned" about their social networking privacy.  So, one out of two social networkers are worried about privacy.

Yet, one has to wonder how much concern really exists deep down, as the poll reflects that 50% of United States residents have profiles on social networking sites.  If privacy worries truly were fundamental, we might expect that there would be less usage of social networking sites; privacy concerns would trump the utility and advantages of such sites.

The poll suggests that older Americans, those 60 years of age and above, have more heightened privacy worries about social networking than younger Americans.  Apparently, younger Americans are more accustomed to social networking, and are more carefree about the process.

Women have more privacy worries about social networking than men, according to the poll. 

Social networking appears to be here to stay.  And with it apparently comes privacy fears.  Those fears need to be articulated and addressed.  Indeed, as reported in the press, Facebook has changed its policies to provide users with more control over how their information is handled.

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Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP ( where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes.  His Web site is and he can be reached at  To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.

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