In LeapIn.it, no personally identifiable information is collected from the users except their geographical location (which will be specific to the nearest city), which will be used for advertising purposes. Furthermore, the user will be asked before their location is tracked.
To use LeapIn.it!, a user only needs to provide a unique username and password. After that, they can create their own avatars that act as digital representations of themselves in the virtual world. The users are therefore anonymous – they can use the system without providing their real names or any personal information.
In a survey conducted on Facebook users to identify the level of sensitivity of the information which is taken from the users, it was shown that the participants considered email addresses to be the most sensitive piece of information as shown in Figure 1 . This reaffirmed our decision to not ask for an email addresses from the users.
In order to ensure that user information is kept secure, the data will be stored on a database with access restricted to only those who need it. To ensure that a user account can only be accessed by that user, the user sets a password for their account when registering. The password is stored on the database as a salted hash, preventing any damage done if the contents of the database were to be revealed.
Users of leapin.it are given the option to control the visibility of their profiles, such that they can set it as public or private to restrict the access to their pages in the searches made by other users of the network. This is similar to the implementation by Facebook, which protects the privacy of the users as illustrated in Figure 2  . In leapin.it, private profiles can only be seen by the members of the user’s friends list. Furthermore, users are provided with a feature that allows them to limit the visibility of their posts and hence increase the level of privacy. This is also relatively similar to what has been implemented in Facebook as shown in Figure 3, Figure 4 and Figure 5 [1 and 2]. They can hide a post from their profile pages and show it in the relevant room and vice versa to give them more control over what they want their friends to know about them.
The information posted in a room can only be viewed by the users who scanned the QR code of that room and therefore limiting the scope of information sharing which has been expressed by the users of Facebook as a factor that increases their level of comfort and trust when using a social network .
Grude, Amy, Matt Scholl, and Robert Thompson. “Privacy on FaceBook.”Computer Supported Cooperative Work 15.4 (2007).
Sharing and Finding you on Facebook. [Online] Available: https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/your-info-on-fb [Accessed: 7/4/2014].