Take for example this research we got from the UNC Department of School of Information and Library Science:
More than 70 percent of 495 college students surveyed claimed to have altered their Facebook privacy settings in some way. Around half of the students also said they limited access to their profile to "friends only."
Although Joe Social Networker might not pay close attention to "inside baseball" incidents like Beacon, they do notice general trends in the media, says Fred Stutzman, a social networking researcher at UNC. "Each individual incident is too abstract for most users, but they do sense an accumulation of all these things," he says.
We also spoke with Facebook's chief privacy officer, Chris Kelly, asking if it's harder to monetize users who utilize the privacy settings.
"What advertisers want is to be able to target at people who have attributes," he says. "So what we do is abstract profile information and the information flows of the site into keywords that advertisers can target their advertising against. But the advertisers don't get a list of who matches those keywords, so it doesn't really impinge upon the users' privacy interests."
The experts we spoke with felt otherwise."