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ResourcesHuman Research Ethics‘But the data is already public’: On the ethics of research in Facebook (Papers: Zimmer M 2010)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

‘But the data is already public’: On the ethics of research in Facebook (Papers: Zimmer M 2010)

Published/Released on June 04, 2010 | Posted by Admin on January 10, 2016 / , , , , , ,
 


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Abstract: In 2008, a group of researchers publicly released profile data collected from the Facebook accounts of an entire cohort of college students from a US university. While good-faith attempts were made to hide the identity of the institution and protect the privacy of the data subjects, the source of the data was quickly identified, placing the privacy of the students at risk. Using this incident as a case study, this paper articulates a set of ethical concerns that must be addressed before embarking on future research in social networking sites, including the nature of consent, properly identifying and respecting expectations of privacy on social network sites, strategies for data anonymization prior to public release, and the relative expertise of institutional review boards when confronted with research projects based on data gleaned from social media.”

Zimmer M (2010) ‘But the data is already public’: On the ethics of research in Facebook. Ethics and Information Technology 12(4): 313-325.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10676-010-9227-5

(Additional reading list item from the updated Booklet 37 of the Griffith University Research Ethics Manual. Perpetual licences are available for use by all researchers within an institution. Institutions have used the GUREM as the basis for producing their own research ethics manual, as a professional development resource and a teaching and learning materials for HDR candidates.)b



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