System Seminar: Understanding Ethical Concerns in Social Media Privacy Studies, by Luke Hutton, University of St Andrews

Event details

  • When: 12th February 2013 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar


Understanding privacy in social network sites (SNSs) is an area of intense interest in computer science and many other fields. The ethical considerations of such research are numerous and complicated. Our position is that understanding how to address such considerations will improve measurement, and therefore our understanding, of networked social privacy.

In this talk we discuss some empirical work that we have conducted to replicate two existing studies in an attempt to understand SNS users’ privacy concerns about sharing data with researchers, rather than with other SNS users. We will introduce an architecture we are developing to support the execution of privacy-aware social network studies. Finally, we will discuss some of the outstanding challenges in this space, including the difficulty of establishing meaningful cross-study metrics, whether we can apply Nissenbaum’s model of contextual integrity to minimise ethical concerns, and the implications of our results for sharing social network data with other researchers.

Bio of the Speaker:

Luke Hutton is a PhD student at the University of St Andrews, supervised by Tristan Henderson. His research aims to improve understanding of people’s privacy-preserving behaviour through the lens of contextual integrity, with user studies leveraging social network sites, location-based services, and ubiquitous computing environments. Additionally, his research explores the methodological challenges associated with research of this nature, developing tools to support the conduct of privacy-aware social network experiments.