Uncovering users’ location privacy concerns: when, where and with whom are users willing to share location information?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


A popular buzzword these days is SoLoMo; a term to describe the convergence of
Social, Local and Mobile technologies. This phenonom is powered by the everincreasing
adoption of smartphones, and the willingness to respond to the always
connected and interactive modern consumer. However, these envisioned SoLoMo
services and platforms rise a number of challenges towards the exploitation and
access of (big) data and interrelated privacy concerns. Privacy issues are not a
recent development, but they become more pronounced in the SoLoMo environment.
An enormous amount of personal data are created, shared and collected by users
everyday; data that could possibly be gathered by third parties. In addition to these
concerns, users are also aware of the threats stemming from their social
environment. These privacy concerns make many users rather reluctant to fully adopt
SoLoMo services. Novel identity management and location privacy solutions should
be integrated, so the user can decide how, when and with whom his mobile identity is
being shared.

The Proxy Technology Assessment (PTA) technique will be deployed to gain deeper
insights into users' (location) privacy concerns and users' willingness to disclose
location information. By means of existing technologies, that show as much
similarities as possible with the technology under development (proxy technologies),
we will explore how users engage with location privacy. This technique puts the user
in the center of the innovation, and makes it possibile to understand how technology
and new applications become part of people's everyday life. Participants will test two
existing location-based services, Foursquare and Glympse, for a period of three
weeks. These two different classes of location-based services were chosen, as initial
exploration showed significant differences in sharing location information between
social-driven (Foursquare) and purpose-driven services (Glympse). The privacy
awareness, attitudes, capabilities and practices of users will be investigated, whilst
also taking into account the social context in which these users are embedded.
Based on these insights, we will formulate some concrete location privacy solutions
for an optimal usage of SoLoMo services, in which users are comfortable sharing
location information. Different design implications will be considered for future
location-based services. The perceived value, the role of feedback, time and type of
place are hereby important willingness to share parameters. Eventually, our study will
yield a more robust understanding on how to find a right balance between offering
highly targeted, context-rich services and an optimal privacy protection for each
involved stakeholder
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPresentation at Mobile Ghent ’13 Conference (Ghent University)
Place of PublicationGhent, Belgium
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
EventUnknown -
Duration: 1 Oct 2013 → …

Publication series

NamePresentation at Mobile Ghent ’13 Conference (Ghent University)


Period1/10/13 → …


  • mobile applications
  • privacy


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