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The Impact of Parenthood on Perceptions of Positioning Technologies
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Traffic and Logistics.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4671-758X
2013 (English)In: Surveillance & Society, ISSN 1477-7487, E-ISSN 1477-7487Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate public perceptions of three potentially privacy-invasive technologies relevant to daily mobility – video surveillance (CCTV), positioning via mobile phone, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags – via contrasting scenarios and items measuring factors such as acceptance and desirability.  The effect of parenthood on perceptions is also explored and proves to generally shift attitudes in a more favorable direction, i.e. parents perceive higher positive effects and lower negative effects of a technology.  Parenthood also proves to affect males and females differently, where female non-parents often perceive technological applications less favorably than do other groups by having heightened risk perception, lower trust, lower acceptance, etc.  For the aggregate respondent group, the analysis indicates that technologies targeting the “crowd” versus the “individual”, and technologies associated with a non-commercial actor can be linked to a trend of relatively greater acceptability, although this does not necessarily lead to high ratings of trust for these data collectors in the absolute sense.  Also, the least favorably perceived scenario does not elicit particularly high ratings of worry or offense.  These results, combined with a lack of willingness to discuss with influential parties (elected representatives or relevant authorities or companies) and a lack of willingness to search for information about a technology regardless of ratings of acceptance or privacy-invasiveness, lead the authors to submit that the respondents feel a sense of resignation towards technological development.  This may have broad implications for decision-making and democratic processes, as perceived lack of influence and perceived lack of interest in participation feed back into each other, which may further divide laypersons from experts, companies, and authorities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122205OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-122205DiVA: diva2:621331
Note

QS 2013

Available from: 2013-05-14 Created: 2013-05-14 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. User Perspectives on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>User Perspectives on Intelligent Transportation Systems
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), or the advanced use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the transportation context, offers new tools in the continual effort to develop an accessible, safe, and sustainable transportation system. In this thesis, focus is placed on ITS targeting individual use or the end users’ transportation experiences, e.g. video surveillance, cashless payments, pedestrian navigation, real-time information, emergency communications, and parking services. For the end user, such services can serve to enhance one’s sense of assurance by reducing uncertainty and facilitating planning and dealing with unforeseen circumstances.

However, ITS and the data collection and processing upon which it is built bring their own challenges, as personal data and privacy are fundamentally intertwined. Individuals’ data is routinely collected, from which one can infer a broad range of activities and lifestyle choices, and which may have implications over time or in other contexts. Perceptions of technology and data use are contextual; what may be considered acceptable or privacy-invasive in one situation and for one purpose may not hold true for other persons, situations, or purposes. Concerns often focus on aspects of anonymity, lack of knowledge or control, function creep, etc. Furthermore, although individual, end users are affected by policies and technologies guiding data collection and processing, they are rarely involved in decision-making processes, offered realistic alternatives, or able to control their own data.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate end users’ perceptions of ITS. As various contexts and factors have proven to influence perception in other research areas, the approach has been to use empirical case studies of different end user groups and ITS systems. Additionally, the case studies vary contexts and contrast potential negative consequences of ITS, such as privacy infringement, with potential positive benefits (which may depend on the circumstances of the particular user group and/or the ITS system), such as increased assurance and independence. Users are surveyed via structured interviews and questionnaires that include items addressing perceptions of benefits/risks, privacy, trust, etc. In investigating ITS from the users’ perspective, this research attempts to paint a more holistic view of the issues surrounding the use of ITS in our daily, mobile lives.

The broad-spectrum conclusions are that the respondents, in general, perceive ITS as relatively beneficial, more so on a general, social level, and feel more reassured due to the systems. Privacy concerns are generally not a major barrier for acceptance in the scenarios presented, although respondents do not necessarily express high levels of trust for the data collectors or low levels of risk for data misuse. Results show that perceptions are influenced by a number of factors, such as: the targeted beneficiary; addressing a specific, personal need; perceived personal control of a situation; the actor (data collector); status within the organization; gender and parenthood. There are also indications that end users feel a sense of resignation due to lack of choice, control, or perceived influence. For example, there is no strong interest in discussing technological applications with companies, government agencies, or elected representatives, nor in searching for information about technological applications irrespective of perceived privacy infringement or acceptability. This may have broader implications, e.g. for decision-making and democratic processes, as perceived lack of influence and perceived lack of interest in participation feed back into each other.

As such, recommendations include informed consent, choice (e.g. opt-in/opt-out), control over one’s personal data, ongoing, two-way dialogue between stakeholders (from the beginning of the design process), comprehensive technological assessments, as well as following through on the use of Fair Information Practices/Principles such as limitation of data collection and use, purpose specification, transparency, individual participation, etc. ITS and data collection and processing are not “silver bullets” able solve all problems via “complete and perfect” information. They are additional tools in the toolbox that bring with them their own challenges related to issues such as privacy, lack of choice/control, and technological accessibility. Thus, efforts should be made to address these new challenges, such as technological mechanisms, personal actions and user participation, and proactive organizational policy and public legislation. The research presented in this thesis serves to remind us that a coordinated effort on multiple fronts is vital in addressing users’ needs and meeting broader social goals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. xii, 30 p.
Series
Trita-TSC-PHD, 13:001
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122209 (URN)978-91-87353-02-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-31, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20130515

Available from: 2013-05-15 Created: 2013-05-14 Last updated: 2013-05-15Bibliographically approved

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