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    New York Times: Tell-All Generation Learns to Keep Things Offline

    The New York Times reports that some people worried about privacy are taking steps to guard their privacy on social-networking sites. In the past, I’ve discussed how data from social-networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, are being used against applicants to colleges and graduate schools, and job applicants or employees.

    The Times reports:

    The conventional wisdom suggests that everyone under 30 is comfortable revealing every facet of their lives online, from their favorite pizza to most frequent sexual partners. But many members of the tell-all generation are rethinking what it means to live out loud.

    While participation in social networks is still strong, a survey released last month by the University of California, Berkeley, found that more than half the young adults questioned had become more concerned about privacy than they were five years ago — mirroring the number of people their parent’s age or older with that worry.

    They are more diligent than older adults, however, in trying to protect themselves. In a new study to be released this month, the Pew Internet Project has found that people in their 20s exert more control over their digital reputations than older adults, more vigorously deleting unwanted posts and limiting information about themselves. […]

    Sam Jackson, a junior at Yale who started a blog when he was 15 and who has been an intern at Google, said he had learned not to trust any social network to keep his information private. […]

    His Facebook account, which he has had since 2005, is strictly personal. “I don’t want people to know what my movie rentals are,” he said. “If I am sharing something, I want to know what’s being shared with others.” […]

    Helen Nissenbaum, a professor of culture, media and communication at New York University and author of “Privacy in Context,” a book about information sharing in the digital age, said teenagers were naturally protective of their privacy as they navigate the path to adulthood, and the frequency with which companies change privacy rules has taught them to be wary.

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