Facebook may still be the world’s largest social network, but according to a new study, 48.3 percent of users who quit using the social network cited privacy concerns.
University of Vienna researchers asked over 600 participants why they quit using Facebook.
While privacy concerns was the top answer, 13.5 percent responded with general dissatisfaction, 12.6 percent with shallow conversations and six percent said a fear of becoming addicted.
On average, participants who quit using Facebook were older males.
According to Stefan Stieger, a psychologist at the University of Vienna, personality traits could be an influence in one’s decision to quit using the social network.
Given high profile stories such as WikiLeaks and the recent NSA surveillance reports, individual citizens are becoming increasingly more wary of cyber-related privacy concerns. With photo tags, profiling, and internet dependency issues, research such as Professor Stieger’s is very timely.
To help calm privacy concerns, Facebook, along with Google and Yahoo!, recently submitted transparency requests to give users more insight into data the government collects.
Unfortunately, tech companies have only been allowed to publish how many government data requests they receive, and not any specifics.
Facebook and its competitors have been put in a compromising situation, and unless the government approves transparency requests, it could further chip away at user’s trust.