On the impact of real-time feedback on users' behaviour in mobile location-sharing applications

Jedrzejczyk, Lukasz; Price, Blaine A.; Bandara, Arosha K. and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2010). On the impact of real-time feedback on users' behaviour in mobile location-sharing applications. In: SOUPS '10: Proceedings of the Sixth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, 14-16 Jul 2010, ACM, pp. 1–12.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/1837110.1837129

URL: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1837110.1837129


Effective privacy management requires that mobile systems' users be able to make informed privacy decisions as their experience and knowledge of a system progresses. Prior work has shown that making such privacy decisions is a difficult task for users because systems do not provide support for awareness, visibility and accountability when sharing privacy-sensitive information. This paper reports results of our investigation into the efficacy of realtime feedback as a mechanism for incorporating these features of social translucence in location-sharing applications, in order to help users make better privacy decisions. We explored the role of real-time feedback in the context of Buddy Tracker, a mobile location-sharing application. Our work focuses on ways in which real-time feedback affects people's behaviour in order to identify the main criteria for acceptance of this technology. Based on the data from a three week field trial of Buddy Tracker, a focus group session, and interviews, we found that when using a system that provided real-time feedback, people were more accountable for their actions and reduced the number of unreasonable location requests. We have used the results of our study to propose high-level design criteria for incorporating real-time feedback into information sharing applications in a manner that ensures social acceptance of the technology.

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