Author(s): Maija E. Poikela, Felix Kaiser

Download: Paper (PDF)

Date: 12 Aug 2016

Document Type: Presentations

Associated Event: NDSS Symposium 2016


Location-based applications bring ever more possibilities for the users: finding a soulmate, locating good restaurants in vicinity, or tracking a lost phone. Benefits are abundant, but, whether the user realizes it or not, so are the risks. This raises questions about what the users of locationbased applications think happens with their location data, whether they see the usage as a tradeoff between benefits and risks, and whether they attempt to protect themselves from privacy risks. We conducted a set of semi-structured interviews (N = 41) with an explorative approach to investigate smartphone users’ perceptions of location-based applications. Among other things, we investigated the benefits that have been experienced, the risks that cause concern, and the expectations of what happens with the location data. The data was then analyzed to further study the relationships between these concepts. Our results suggest that trusting individuals see more benefits in location-based applications than others, and on the other hand, those who express mistrust report more risks than others. Interestingly, participants with some limitations in their knowledge of location-based applications said more often than others that there are no risks in using location-based applications. On the other hand, participants with good knowledge seem to be protecting themselves from privacy risks more.