Is Privacy Dead? Does it Matter?

How Facebook Frames its Data Policy Through Public Communication

  • Brandon Carl Boatwright Clemson University
  • Candace White University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Facebook holds vast amounts of data that provide artificial intelligence about attitudes and behaviors of 1.6 billon users throughout the world. The current study analyzes Facebook’s public communication regarding data collection and privacy to better understand how the company frames its message strategy, which affects user understanding. As calls for oversight and legislation of data privacy continue to surface, this study explores how Facebook defines data and how it frames its data policy through public communication. Results show Facebook addresses what data the company collects but fails to provide sufficient clarity explaining how data is stored or used. It frames its privacy policy in terms that benefit users without explanation of its business model.

Author Biographies

Brandon Carl Boatwright, Clemson University

Department of Communication

Candace White, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
School of Advertising and Public Relations



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Original Research