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http://ourprivacymattersproject.ca/Giuliana Cucinelli (writer, co-producer, director)
Leslie Shade (co-producer, writer, research consultant)

Why Privacy Matters: Youth Identity and Sociability
Our everyday lives are increasingly dependent upon the use of social media for communication with our friends, family, schoolmates, and colleagues. Social network sites such as Facebook,  real-time information services such as Twitter, micro-blogging sites such as Tumblr, video-sharing sites such as YouTube or Vimeo, are used for creative, constructive, or even mundane uses.  In our ever-connected world, it is more than ever difficult to disconnect.

While social media are ostensibly ‘free’, the personal information that we put on these sites is sold to third-party marketers zealous to monetize this data, or even to governments, law officials, and potential employers, eager to compile a dossier of our activities without our knowledge and consent. There are thus serious privacy implications and issues related to social media. How can we manage our personal privacy on these sites? How does the architectural design and terms of use — including of course privacy policies — impact the ownership of our very own communication and conversations?  Design and policy tangibly impact the security and privacy of our personal information related to data collection, retention, distribution, and control.

Many admonish youth for their supposed cavalier attitude toward their personal privacy on social media. But in our research we have found that youth have a very nuanced and smart sense about how to manage their own privacy and they possess a grounded sense of the interpersonal ethics surrounding social media communication. They have told us that they are often frustrated by the brazen attitude of social media companies who routinely change their privacy controls, and they have also told us that they want more of a voice in policymaking.

This film explores these issues, and brings forward the voices of Canadian youth, media educators, and academics. It is designed to serve as both an introduction to the various issues related to privacy, social media and youth and also serve as a provocation for youth to become more involved in not only shaping the social media landscape but in educating policymakers about their insights and concerns about online privacy.

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