Data collected will be limited to basic demographics, posts, comments, status updates, links, shares etc. that are only generated by the participant in accordance with privacy policies set by Facebook and guidelines established by respected researchers. The following fields have been identified to be valuable in this study: about, age_range, education, email, events, family, feed, friends, gender, hometown, id, interested_in, likes, location, name, photos, political, posts, relationship_status, religion, significant_other, and work. Details on what data Facebook provides as part of these fields is available in the Facebook documentation.
All possible measures to ensure the anonymity and confidentiality of the participants in this project will be taken. Th Facebook data collected through the web application will have names, Facebook usernames and unique Facebook URLs of the youth participating in the project. This data will be stored on a password-protected server at the University of Denver's Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science. Any authorization provided to us by the participants to download their data will only be used during the duration of the project, and destroyed thereafter. The authorization credentials are encrypted and stored in a database. The downloaded data itself is stored in a password protected database. The data (collected by the app) is stripped of identifiers once an internal personal identification number (PID) is assigned to each user's record. It will not be possible to retrieve personal details back from the PID of a user. No identifying information is ever included in the databases which contain private information about sexual behaviors or HIV, HCV and STI status. The deidentified data will be kept indefinitely to help facilitate future studies.
Only members of the research team who 1) must access data to complete research-related tasks; and 2) have signed a confidentiality agreement will have access to the data. The PI and Co-PIs will have full access to the data and will oversee access by the research team. Except in cases of mandated reporting, information about individual participants will not be released. Aggregate findings across all participants will be provided in a report to Urban Peak. This report will not identify individual participant responses.