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Within every four hours one person in the US dies while waiting for an organ transplant and even though 90% of Americans claim to support organ donations only 1/3 of licenced drivers are registered organ donors. In an effort to spread awareness and increase the amount of registered organ donors, Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team have recently launched a new Facebook feature in the US and UK. Facebook users can now update their status to show whether or not they are organ donors. Registered donors are encouraged to mention which state they are registered in and why they have chosen to be a donor. For users that aren’t yet registered and would like to be, Facebook has provided a direct link to state donor registries.
Even though your Facebook status won’t carry any weight in regards to the legal and medical requirements to actually be an organ donor, it is an influential social movement fuelled by the ever powerful peer pressure to drive more people to take action in the matter. This controversial feature takes privacy concerns to a whole new level. Many consumers are uncomfortable thinking what companies might do with this intimate information and if there will be any repercussions from divulging such private data.
The results seem to be favourable for awaiting organ recipients thus far. Within the first day Californian organ donor registries were up by 480 people, but it is still too early to fully comprehend the full benefits and/or repercussions of this new social insight. More likely than not, New Zealand Facebook users will soon be confronted with the choice to share with their ‘friends’ whether or not they are an organ donor. When the time comes, will you disclose this delicate information to support the cause?