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Saturday, October 13 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Social Media Users' Privacy Expectations and the Ethics of Using Their Data by Third Parties

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*Initial Participants*

Jacquelyn Burkell, Western University

Joanne McNeish, Ryerson University

Anabel Quan-Haase, Western University


The transnational flows of information across nations and borders make it difficult to introduce and implement privacy-preserving policies relating to social media data. Social media data are a rich source of behavioural data that can reveal how we connect and interact with each other online in real time. Furthermore, the materiality of new digital intermediaries (such as the Internet of Things, AI, and algorithms) raises additional anticipated and unanticipated privacy challenges that need to be addressed as we continue to speed towards an increasingly digitally-mediated future.

A by-product of the large-scale social media adoption is social media data mining; publicly available social media data is largely free and legally available to be mined, analyzed, and used (Kennedy 2016) for whatever purposes by third parties. Researchers have begun to suggest that ethics need to be considered even if the data is public (boyd & Crawford 2012).

In the wake of the EU's recent legislation of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Right to be Forgotten, as well as increasing critical attention around the world, the roundtable will discuss how to navigate the transnational and material, as well as the complex and competing, interests associated with using social media, including ethics, privacy, security, and intellectual property rights. By balancing people's individual rights to exercise autonomy over "their" data and the societal benefits of using and analyzing the data for insights, the roundtable aims to generate theoretically-rich discussion and debate with internet researchers about the ethics, privacy, and best practices of using social media data.


boyd, d., & K. Crawford. 2012. "Critical Questions for Big Data." Information, Communication & Society 15 (5): 662-679.

Kennedy, H. 2016. Post, Mine, Repeat. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

avatar for Anatoliy Gruzd

Anatoliy Gruzd

Associate Professor, Ryerson University
Canada Research Chair in Social Media Data Stewardship, Director of Research at the Social Media Lab (http://SocialMediaLab.ca/), Associate Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University

Saturday October 13, 2018 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
Sheraton - Salon 4