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Investigating similarity between privacy policies of social networking sites as a precursor for standardization

Investigating similarity between privacy policies of social networking sites as a precursor for standardization
Investigating similarity between privacy policies of social networking sites as a precursor for standardization
The current execution of privacy policies, as a mode of communicating information to users, is unsatisfactory. Social networking sites (SNS) exemplify this issue, attracting growing concerns regarding their use of personal data and its effect on user privacy. This demonstrates the need for more informative policies. However, SNS lack the incentives required to improve policies, which is exacerbated by the difficulties of creating a policy that is both concise and compliant. Standardization addresses many of these issues, providing benefits for users and SNS, although it is only possible if policies share attributes which can be standardized. This investigation used thematic analysis and cross- document structure theory, to assess the similarity of attributes between the privacy policies (as available in August 2014), of the six most frequently visited SNS globally. Using the Jaccard similarity coefficient, two types of attribute were measured; the clauses used by SNS and the coverage of forty recommendations made by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office. Analysis showed that whilst similarity in the clauses used was low, similarity in the recommendations covered was high, indicating that SNS use different clauses, but to convey similar information. The analysis also showed that low similarity in the clauses was largely due to differences in semantics, elaboration and functionality between SNS. Therefore, this paper proposes that the policies of SNS already share attributes, indicating the feasibility of standardization and five recommendations are made to begin facilitating this, based on the findings of the investigation.
Cradock, Emma
327df163-4131-4594-a36e-928dff32079a
Millard, David
4f19bca5-80dc-4533-a101-89a5a0e3b372
Stalla-Bourdillon, Sophie
c189651b-9ed3-49f6-bf37-25a47c487164
Cradock, Emma
327df163-4131-4594-a36e-928dff32079a
Millard, David
4f19bca5-80dc-4533-a101-89a5a0e3b372
Stalla-Bourdillon, Sophie
c189651b-9ed3-49f6-bf37-25a47c487164

Cradock, Emma, Millard, David and Stalla-Bourdillon, Sophie (2015) Investigating similarity between privacy policies of social networking sites as a precursor for standardization. 24th International World Wide Web Conference, Florence, Italy. 18 - 22 May 2015. 7 pp .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

The current execution of privacy policies, as a mode of communicating information to users, is unsatisfactory. Social networking sites (SNS) exemplify this issue, attracting growing concerns regarding their use of personal data and its effect on user privacy. This demonstrates the need for more informative policies. However, SNS lack the incentives required to improve policies, which is exacerbated by the difficulties of creating a policy that is both concise and compliant. Standardization addresses many of these issues, providing benefits for users and SNS, although it is only possible if policies share attributes which can be standardized. This investigation used thematic analysis and cross- document structure theory, to assess the similarity of attributes between the privacy policies (as available in August 2014), of the six most frequently visited SNS globally. Using the Jaccard similarity coefficient, two types of attribute were measured; the clauses used by SNS and the coverage of forty recommendations made by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office. Analysis showed that whilst similarity in the clauses used was low, similarity in the recommendations covered was high, indicating that SNS use different clauses, but to convey similar information. The analysis also showed that low similarity in the clauses was largely due to differences in semantics, elaboration and functionality between SNS. Therefore, this paper proposes that the policies of SNS already share attributes, indicating the feasibility of standardization and five recommendations are made to begin facilitating this, based on the findings of the investigation.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 April 2015
Published date: May 2015
Venue - Dates: 24th International World Wide Web Conference, Florence, Italy, 2015-05-18 - 2015-05-22
Related URLs:
Organisations: Faculty of Business, Law and Art

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 376642
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/376642
PURE UUID: 54295a6c-3b29-4196-823a-1800cb791bc2
ORCID for David Millard: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7512-2710

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jul 2015 15:27
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 01:12

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Contributors

Author: Emma Cradock
Author: David Millard ORCID iD

University divisions

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