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New Study Reveals Desperately Needed Solutions to Privacy Issues for Facebook, Consumers

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A new study from a professor in the Bryan School of Business and Economics identifies innovative identity management dimensions for social media companies, consumers, and even policymakers. Recently published in Decision Sciences’ Fall 2018 edition (“The Identity Management Value Model: A Design Science Approach to assess Value Gaps in Social Media”) this paper exposes an assessment mechanism for companies such as Facebook to know how well they are performing along dimensions’ consumers care about. For instance, his research found the discovered value gaps for Facebook in the following areas:

  • Maximize control = 41%
  • Social media ethics = 40%
  • Ensuring identity does not change = 39%
  • User control of their impression = 33%
  • User ability to define online identity = 29%

Overall value gap for Facebook was 36%

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Dr. Gurpreet Dhillon, Professor and Head of the Department of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management at the Bryan School of Business at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, co-authored the paper on identity management and social media.

He believes that for Facebook, and other social media organizations, to be responsive to consumers, their leaders need to focus on the value gaps and build their internal strategies to address each one of these five issues.

While social media companies and consumers are most certainly interested in improving identity management, the findings in Dr. Dhillon’s paper are useful to policymakers as well. His findings help improve identity management rather than having a negative impact, and how they provide a strategy for companies and consumers to perform better.

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“Whenever there is a social media identity breach, lawmakers and authorities typically reprimand and begin penalizing companies. The strategic response of these companies should center around the five issues identified in our research. This issue of identity management isn’t Facebook’s problem or the consumer’s problem; it’s everybody’s problem. Findings of our study help in ensuring that the social media companies are mindful of the value gaps and take remedial measures and also that consumers are aware of the critical identity management factors such that they can home in on the most critical aspects that concern them.”

Dr. Dhillon has been a security researcher since 1992. His work focuses on the socio-technicality of protecting security and identity. He has used the method to identify these findings to study other problematic areas, e.g., cyberstalking, virtual assault. Dr. Dhillon is also an author of more than a dozen books published by MacMillan, Wiley, Prospect, and Springer, among others.

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