Facebook apps and tagging: The trade-off between personal privacy and engaging with friends

Pamela Wisniewski, Heng Xu, Heather Lipford, Emmanuel Bello-Ogunu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The use of social network sites offers many potential social benefits, but also raises privacy concerns and challenges for users. The trade-off users have to make between using sites such as Facebook to connect with their friends versus protecting their personal privacy is not well understood. Furthermore, very little behavioral research has focused on how personal privacy concerns are related to information disclosures made by one's friends. Our survey study of 116 Facebook users shows that engaging with friends through tagging activity and third-party application use is associated with higher levels of personal Facebook usage and a stronger emotional attachment to Facebook. However, users who have high levels of personal privacy concern and perceive a lack of effectiveness in Facebook's privacy policies tend to engage less frequently in tagging and app activities with friends, respectively. Our model and results explore illustrate the complexity of the trade-off between privacy concerns, engaging with friends through tagging and apps, and Facebook usage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1883-1896
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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