Privacy and Confidentiality in Social Applications

While social applications have totally revolutionized communication and ways of conducting business, it has brought with them serious concerns on privacy and confidentiality as well as other concerns such as cyber-bullying, diminished social skills, and compromised privacy and confidentiality among the users (O’ Bien and Torres, 2012). There is consensus among the majority of social applications’ users that their privacy and confidentiality are at stake and that there is a need to address this critical concern. Their concerns are genuine as there are increasing instances around the world where privacy and confidentiality of social application users have been breached, and in some instances, the affected users have been harmed or injured (Demshar, 2011). The previous solutions on this problem have not yielded expected results and more and more users of social applications are more afraid of their privacy and confidentiality while using social applications. Therefore, it is critical to create a better understanding of issues relating to privacy and confidentiality in social applications and help develop a more comprehensive approach to addressing these issues.The world has witnessed rapid technological advancements that have significantly changed the way people live and conduct business. One of the most notable technological developments is the advent of social applications. According to (Trepte, 2011), social applications include interactive tools and communication tools that are often internet-based. These tools typically hold or handle the capturing, storing, as well as the presentation of various aspects of communication, written, audio, or video. In addition, these tools handle mediated interaction between users with the focus to establish and maintain connections between or among users and facilitating talk and conversation mechanics. Papacharissi (2011) explains that social applications take various forms including text chat, blogs, social networking services, instant messaging, collaborative software, social bookmarking, wikis, and commercial social networks among others.