Project Proposal

Redesigning Privacy Settings in Social Media

QUESTION: What are default Privacy Settings in Facebook, LinkedIn , Myspace Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Hi5, and Tagged in Flowchart( Modelling default Privacy Settings in Flowchart and relation algebra )? More graphical than text


For sustained data security the developers of Facebook have in place restrictions that safeguard the user from adverse exposure to the public. The applicant often decides on the extent of information to set for the public to consume and those to restrict. The principle privacy options include individual, friends or public (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010). The privacy settings limit the number of viewers of once posts. Friends’ option allows only the Facebook user confirmed as friends to view the posts while public setting, accommodate Facebook users to see and make a comment on the post.

Fig. Privacy checks (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010)

The presence of a padlock symbol represents privacy option setups that permit the user to set the profile information in a way that limits the potential viewers. In the case of advertisements, the organization sets business profile to the public, thus permitting most internet users with Facebook accounts to get notifications regarding additional comments and new information fed into the profile. The privacy approach in the social media relies on the content and nature of the account holder. The default setting for the post may be either public or friends, public settings do not restrict the viewers of the post and are good for business adverse where more traffics is essential otherwise friends settings limit the scope of audiences. Settings covered in the sharing option offer the provision of including friends at the same time excluding other friends who should not get notified of the new updates. The privacy concern is that the Facebook friends of friends unchecked will get notifications of the new posts unless there are restrictions in place. The Facebook developers have in place limit options for the groups either as per post or in the page to improve the level of privacy of data in the network. Facebook setup allows the user to change the sharing options at will through the update options on the post button or make relevant changes through the people’s icon next to date stamp (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).


Your profile section allows the Facebook user to see the personal information and offers precise details to the friends and advertisers. The page enables individuals to know the extent of personal information available for public consumption. The existing edit provision allows users of Facebook accounts to moderate their profile and other information accessible to the public (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).


The section that allows the Facebook user to manage and block data while creating room for individuals to restrict views for their posts of profiles thus increases data privacy for network users. The options available limit the list of friends or the public to see the information or block the users that are of bother (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010). The option to block the messages or apps, such settings restricts the individuals permitted to interact and gain access to the pages in the profile thus increases the privacy levels.


The Facebook ads section has a provision for the users to track other internet users within the social network for the benefit of ads (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).  The advertising entities rely on such ads options captured on the Facebook to sustain the product promotion programs that run on a public profile, portfolio thus enabling more Facebook users to get current information regarding the commodity in the marketplace. The privacy settings captions on the Facebook pages prompt the users to decide on the relevant options relating to their privacy setups that safeguard the users’ data in the network.


The privacy element of the LinkedIn users restrains the setup provision to the email address used during registration. The privacy tab captured in the sharing profile permit modification of certain configuration information to limit the potential users of the social media that can gain access to the account information (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).

Fig. Profile privacy (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010)

The presence of a sharing profile edits keeps the network updated of any changed in the profile thus limits the risk of anonymity that prompts the system to discard profile information. The LinkedIn users must gain the competency needed in managing the accounts to uphold data privacy in the network (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).


The presence of an active feed provides current information to other people’s profile. The friends connected through LinkedIn can view profiles and follow the discussions of their friends. For privacy concerns, the LinkedIn users opt for blocking and hiding under the privacy and settings options provide an opportunity for the LinkedIn users to define the scope of their social networking. Such provisions restrain or limit the circles and groups individuals connect within the communication platform (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).

To attract higher traffics in the feed one need to set the followers to everyone, thus expanding the scope of Internet users. LinkedIn provides an option for the social media users to dictate the members or other uses content permissible for visualization. The approach safeguards the account holders’ data as the selected set of information is available for the public consumption (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010). Setting the entire account to full profile is suitable for an advertising entity and not individuals that uphold the element of information privacy and security.


MySpace social network provides the user with the three basic privacy options as friends, public and anyone. There is minimal space available for personalization of the information as the friends setting emerges as the default option when fixing the account in such social network. The provision of a single click in affecting the privacy options on the personal accounts confirms the existence of limited privacy settings available in the system thus reduces the extent of adaptability. The element of instant personalization that link activities performed by MySpace users on their profiles to the website generate mixed reactions among different social media users regarding the extent of data safety. Merging the privacy portfolio improves the organization and performance of such media in the market. Unlike other sites, MySpace provides an essential restriction of personal information shared in the public domain. The network present options for the users to exercise control over their personal data through critical updates (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).

Twitter provides limited data privacy where the initial settings while signing in the subject the tweets to the public by default thus attract tweets from different users.  Protected tweets provide alerts in the form of requests where new users want to follow the tweets anchored on the protected platform. Twitter enables the user to block other accounts they interact within the platform.  Protected tweets restrain followers from re-twitting the post and will not be visible to the third party. The search engines will not access such tweets from different account except the owner and followers. Reply to the request from anonymous account will not be visible to them, thus increasing the level of data security in the protected accounts (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010). Tweeter platform, offer limited protection options as the link to media remain in the public platform, and anyone with the account in tweeter will gain access to such information without hindrance.

The YouTube platform provides specific privacy settings for the account based on the preference of the account holder. The gear icon has privacy settings regarding the contents permissible to the public and those that the public should not access from an individual’s account (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).


The activity feed provides a backup to the information and activities taking place in the network. The privacy level attained by the account holder depends on the extent to which the applicant checked the boxes present.  The account becomes less private thus, allows the public and other YouTube users gain access to the information provided depending on the number of boxes checked by the account holder (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).


YouTube provides a better option for information privacy restrictions, for instance, the applicant may opt to delete the ads by de-selecting the checkbox hence restricting the ad from showing up. The presences of connected account icons provide enable the user to restructure the account information relating to the playlist and follower settings (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).

The Google+ account settings anchored on the Android apps provide account privacy settings to the profile of the users. The option of turning notifications off or on restricts the account on the kind of information to access or provide over the network. Google + offer the provision of stream settings that regulate the traffic and accessibility requirements. The developing communication technology advances the privacy setting in Google+ platform regarding data sharing location and contact information of the account holders. The presence of a sign in options restricts account information from reaching the unintended Google+ users. The Google+ activity log provides an opportunity for redefining restrictions to the account under the shared endorsement or circle streams that limit the users that may get notifications or post a comment regarding the ads posts on the account (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).

The Hi5 social network allows users to create journals, send posts and messages to other users. The Hi5 users may be of as from 13 years old.  Hi5 offers limited privacy options with the inability to hide entire profile. The restrictions allow friends to view and post a comment on another user’s profile. The default privacy settings restrain another user from posting comments on the secret accounts on the network (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010). The media allow friends to access the information in others accounts and post a comment. The provision that lets users terminate and permanently delete the accounts is essential in limiting the level of threats encountered in the network.


The privacy settings for the tagged photos or other imaged allow for visualization by particular people and not everyone using the social media network. The default settings avail the tagged information to everyone in the network. For privacy, the settings should allow the tagged individuals to get a notification and view the information by defaults (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).


Customization options allow for refined sharing of the tagged information through increased restrictions of accessibility by the social media users. The case of an image used in the advertisement, the privacy settings remain to be public so as to draw larger traffics to view the picture and get informed of the product introduced in the market (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).


The disclosure of private information in the social media through privacy default settings subjects the users of the network to security threats and potential abuse from other web users. Thus, Facebook offers an option for the users to limit or terminate spam applications as the Twitter creates such provisions to allow friends to search for friends in the network. People often suffer from identity theft in cases of shares private information. The element of stalking encourages individuals to build connections with friends and acquaintances that will be in a position to access private profiles that will allow about 63% of the content of private information for the public consumption. Twitter networks permit users to gain access and share information by the followers for the set of data not set as private. The ease with which other Twitter account holder gain access to information in other accounts subject the users to the high risk of data theft and identity misrepresentation as the hackers may source for private information from the network and use it on cyber bullying to other account holders on the same social network. MySpace provide loose security measures that restrain social media users from accessing private information. The security concerns limit the increase in the adaptability of the social network among several users. The ongoing developments tend to create additional security features that restrain the users from accessing private information of friends in the network (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010). The eminent risk associated with default privacy settings in the LinkedIn platform includes partial disclosure of the user information relating to job titles and employer thus restrain an individual from achieving total hideout after adjusting the privacy settings in the profile. Through restricted profiles, the users gain an anonymity status, thus gaining the invisibility situation in the network. Such setting in LinkedIn results in total elimination of one’s history and data about the profile.

The restriction eliminates name visibility in the network, thus affecting the progress of the individual in active participations in the communication path with other social media users. YouTube as other social media restrains the user from gaining visual access to their posts and may result in loss of video files. Subscriptions and Playlists will disappear once the privacy settings are in place. The default settings of privacy require adjustment on the activity feeds to keep the information of the users safe. Google + users operating in a default privacy setting will remain in the limelight as other users will be able to follow their activities, even if not permitted to interact with access their profile information. The information regarding the relationship, education, employment status and location of the resident will remain to be public. Individuals at the under the age bracket of 18years will lose their data upon the effect of such settings. The Hi5 networks permit complete hide out of the user profile information. The social network may limit socialization as the participants will receive information on the other hand friends will not know the individual. Loss of messages ant communication paths is the common case. Hi5 provides a selective option of disengaging services of the provider and deleting data in totality about the individual.  The tagged media default provides the user with an opportunity to hide posts that they feel attract limited traffic in the network. The risk of such settings is the inability to regulate the posts made by friends. The default settings allow friends to post photos of friends regardless of their permission (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).



The level of information sensitivity restricts the accessibility to personal data that may prompt disclosure of private data to the public, thus affecting the level of security attached to the information. The sensitive data misuse or modification by unauthorized persons affects the privacy of individuals using the social network. Data protection in the system is an important regulation that strives for user protection by the service providers (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010). Digital information is vulnerable to security risks, the designers of the social media strive to design a current mechanism that comfortably inculcates security measures to the users thus limits internet frauds and identity theft.

Table: Performance of domains on the social media (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010)

The Available  Data in the Social Media Hi 5
Social Network Public Profile Url Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
User Ids& User Name Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Email Address Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Photo No No No No Yes No Yes
Geolocation No No Yes No No No No
Video No No No No Yes No No
Phone Number Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Current Job Yes No No Yes No No No
Date of Birth Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gender Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Followers Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
Location Yes No Yes No No No No
Date Joining  Social Media Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Data relating to the email address and date of birth are critical about the security settings designated for the privacy settings in the social media (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010). The presence of the email address facilitates tracking of information while the date of birth provides lower age ceilings for the internet users at the same instance keeps the track while maintaining steady notifications for the upcoming events to the circles. The linear equation that defines the level of acceptability of every element in the social media;

y =mx +c

The equation forms the basis of data evaluation, and harmonization of data security initiatives subject for improvement in the social platform like the growth index monitored between the Facebook and MySpace users.


Reassigning the privacy settings in the network redefines the communication platform. To some extent reassigning privacy information reduce accessibility of critical information by the anonymity while the already existing information for public consumption remains unchanged. The case of restructuring affect the following feeds that will restrict the traffics in the system (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).


The third party may access information in place before the current adjustments as the requests anchored on a private server attract limited restrictions by the service provider.  The present architecture of social networks has no data storage options (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010). The developers of social media applications have access to the users’ information, regardless of the setting available, and the users may have no or limited information regarding the application developer.


Reduction of the risks attached to data security after redesigning the system relies on the hosting platform, user application preference and accessibility. For the host, top accept a new form the developers must provide additional components and define whether it targets the user or server as well as the requirements necessary in effecting communication (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).


The redesign of security setting on the social media network captures privacy information of the account holders through restructuring users’ permission to access the social page. The privacy settings protect the account users. In the case of Facebook, the user may make and upload posts and build an online friend engaged in steady conversations. The privacy settings allow the user to specify the user to interact with or view the information on the network. Customization of the privacy settings allows internet users to save personal information in the system or easy identification of the account holder. The element of password restricts accessibility options available for the users in the network (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010). Twitter present limited privacy setting options compared to Facebook accounts. For instance, Twitter allows the user to direct their activities in conformity to the website ads and the kind of page to follow or those that one should not follow. To some extent, the social networks have clear structures that define the trends in information sharing platform.


Information relating to the messages, location or the social media user and contacts attracts high privacy traffics. The social media often restructures the settings to permit editing works to the settings in case the user changes the settings. Users have an obligation to dictate the privacy elements of the information supported by such networks (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2010).


Wankel, C., Marovich, M., & Stanaityte, J. (2010). Cutting-edge social media approaches to business education: Teaching with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, and blogs. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.