Trust,Privacy and Web Science

I recently asked a college freshman about which email account he uses with friends. Apparently most of the freshman’s friends use some chatting feature in Facebook and don’t normally send email but like using AOL chat occasionally. However  college students country wide are quite cut up that everyone (prospective employers included ) can now open an account on "Facebook" without being in academia. This is an "invasion of privacy" fumed  several students…

What is privacy and how does trust operate on the web ? This is the subject that is finally finding priority among the Computer Science academic community. In fact, the inventor of the World Wide Web  Tim Berners-Lee is heading up this project  and computer scientists are in general recognizing that the web has both engineering and social dimensions. The literally exploding nature of social networks on the web including Facebook, MySpace, the social bookmarks manager and for that matter Wikipedia  are bringing together people like never before. They are delighted to leave  free and correct advise on web forums and blogs (I recently fixed my misbehaving garage door opener by searching for answers on garage door forums  ) and formal innovation management has barely started noticing…… these are really exciting times and I am glad that an whole community of marketing scholars had started work on this consumer trust thing before the dot com problems of 2001. In fact, one of my papers that identifies "trust" as an important driver of online buying behavior finally got published in 2006.

Now that the leading computer scientists have started explicitly recognizing the societal and human aspects of computer science the new interdisciplinary "web science" should start catching on.

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