Dataveillance and e-surveillance. A critical case study of the usage of Social Netwroking Sites by students in Sassari

Abstract for the forthcoming conference in Barcelona 29 May – 1st June 2012

The paper presents some theoretical considerations arise from empirical research conducted on the students from the University of Sassari, Italy (n: 1047). Students have little knowledge about the laws in Italy that regulate surveillance and they underestimate the extent of dataveillance and e-surveillance. Some interesting findings include: only 30.9% of respondents were aware that Facebook is always allowed to collect and store data on their information behaviour (meaning that around 70% didn’t know) and only 23.9% knew that Facebook is allowed to reuse and resell personal data (so more than 3 out of 4 students didn’t know). However, half of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that private firms have strong interests in gathering the personal data of Internet users. Furthermore, 58.5% knew that the advertising clients of Facebook are allowed to gather data on users’ information consumption. In considering this date within a wider framework of data surveillance, this paper also explores the connexions between such attitudes and knowledge of and attitudes towards surveillance by social networking sites.

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