Timeline still creeps out many Facebook users, survey says

Many consumers are concerned about their privacy with Facebook's Timeline, but it turns out most of them aren't doing much about it beyond venting.

CNET/James Martin

When Facebook debuted its new Timeline profile page format last September at F8, it was met with a lot of mixed reactions. Some people praised the new layout, while others have worried about their privacy.

Apparently at least 88 percent of consumers are concerned about the privacy of information they include on their Facebook profiles, according to a new report from malware and anti-virus security solutions provider Webroot.

The most common response when asked what was most concerning about Timeline was that it is an mandatory, automatic opt-in feature.

However, despite the prevalent concern, it looks like it might just be a lot of talk. Webroot found that almost half of this group did nothing to their profiles when Facebook Timeline was officially turned on and enforced.

Researchers found that some consumers took action. Approximately one-third of the concerned Facebook users adjusted who could see at least one or more of their activities displayed on Timeline, while 17 percent deleted status updates, images, and content.

For Facebook members in the United States, the most commonly cited reason as to why they removed content was that it was "Something you wouldn't want your employer to see."

To be fair, Webroot found that these social media users aren't only concerned about Facebook. Researchers found that 82 percent were also concerned about the privacy of information they include on their Google accounts.

For reference, Webroot's report is based on the responses from 1,637 Internet users age 18 and older in Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States, who were surveyed in March 2012.

This item first appeared on ZDNet's Between the Lines blog under the headline "Many Facebook users still wary about Timeline, survey says."

 

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