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Study reveals teenage patients attitude towards social media and privacy
Date:9/20/2012

study had Facebook accounts, used its private messaging function instead of email, and had registered with their real name and date of birth. All but two of the patients had changed their Facebook privacy settings to friends-only, with the other two allowing friends of friends.

The study found that most did not reveal any personal health information on Facebook because the site is a place to be a "regular", rather than a sick teenager.

"Facebook users often let each other know where they are or what they are doing. However, most teenage patients do not write status updates on Facebook when they are at CHEO or return to CHEO," continued El Emam.

Half of the patients interviewed said that they are online "all the time" when not with visitors or hospital staff, while all the interviewees said they spend more time onlinesearching the internet and using Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Skype in hospital than at home.

Social and psychological privacy were very important to the teenage patients, but informational privacythe collection of personal information by governments and companieswas not among their concerns.

All patients felt they are in control of their privacy on Facebook, including the two who regularly share personal health information. Only one patient "questioned Facebook's access and use of personal information for targeted personalized advertisements."


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Contact: Adrienne Vienneau
avienneau@cheo.on.ca
613-737-7600 x4144
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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