Majority of Facebook Users Say “No” to Sharing Personal Health Information, According to Path of the Blue Eye Project Survey

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Research Reveals Facebook Users Have Privacy Concerns: 32% of Non-Sharers Fear Marketers Will Use Health Content; Only 11% Worry Health Insurers May Access Information.

Facebook, Privacy and Health Infographic

Facebook, Privacy and Health Infographic

68% of Facebook users have never shared (or plan to share) health content via the site.

New research released today by the Path of the Blue Eye Project (http://www.pathoftheblueeye.com) reveals that 68% of Facebook users have never shared (or plan to share) health content via the site. Among non-sharers, the most common reason cited for refusing to post health-related status updates was “it’s nobody’s business but my own (86%).” The Project is a global initiative designed to encourage greater collaboration and knowledge sharing among health marketing communications professionals.

The Project also found that privacy concerns prompt many to avoid sharing. 39% of non-sharers are afraid strangers will find their health information. 32% worry marketers might use their personal health content to sell products and services.

In recent months, news reports have suggested that health insurance providers are mining Facebook for information on members’ medical status. Despite this, only 11% of non-sharers are concerned insurance companies would find their health content.

The Project has published an infographic titled, “What You Need to Know: Facebook, Privacy and Health,” that features:

-Information about privacy concerns associated with the use of Facebook’s Like button on health Websites
-Research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project on whether Americans are using social networks to get health content
-Additional data from the Path of the Blue Eye Project’s survey

The Project has also published a free in-depth report on the survey results, “Just Between Us: Facebook, Privacy and Health,” which is available to those contributing to its online community, Living the Path (http://www.livingthepath.com). To access the infographic and report, please visit: http://www.pbeye.info/facebookhealth.

About This Research

Wakefield Research, a leading market research firm, conducted a nationally representative online survey of 1,000 Americans (18+) on behalf of the Path of the Blue Eye Project from October 8 – 14, 2010. This study has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

About the Path of the Blue Eye Project

The Path of the Blue Eye Project (http://www.pathoftheblueeye.com) is a global initiative designed to help health marketing communications professionals educate themselves, share knowledge and collaborate efficiently and effectively. The Project is powered by Enspektos, LLC (http://www.enspektos.com), a health marketing communications consultancy specializing in strategy, research and training.

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Jayme Hummer
Enspektos, LLC
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