Using Privacy’s Taxonomy to identify activities found on Social Network’s terms of use

The aim of this study is explicit elements on social networks who allow the identification of possible activities that show harmful effects on privacy, either when executed by internal or external agents.

To achieve that, this work uses the Privacy Taxonomy by Solove to categorize those potentially harmful actions found on social network’s terms of use, especially to emerge aspects inherent in data gathering and data storing phases using personal data.

The universe of study was delimited to study terms of use from three prominent social networks at the time of the research.

The results are divided into two parts: the first tries to identify evidence of possible activities harmful to privacy, through a linkage of characteristics in terms of use with concepts from Privacy Taxonomy. The second shows a comparison between classifications (enabled when the taxonomy was applied), and occurrences levels of this kind of activities on terms of use.

It was concluded that applying an appropriated taxonomy can help on terms of use studies, enabling to explicit predicted activities in those terms of use, which allow, indeed, proposals of new applications of this methodology in others digital contexts.

Keywords: Privacy. Information and Communication Technologies. Personal data. Social Networks. Privacy Taxonomy.


  1. Fernando de Assis Rodrigues
  2. Ricardo César Gonçalves Sant’Ana

Full paper available* at

  1. XII International Society of Knowledge Organization Spain and II International Society of Knowledge Organization Spain-Portugal
  2. Research Gate


Fernando de Assis Rodrigues, B.Sc., M.S., Ph.D., is a professor at Federal University of Pará (UFPA), Brazil.