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Privacy in location-based social networks: privacy scripts & user practices

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The seamless integration of smartphones in the everyday practices and routines of people is a typical example of the ‘disappearance of media’ (Deuze 2012). Although the actual device is currently still very tangible and visible, it can be defined as the first step in the direction of a world that exists out of Internet- connected objects and people. With the increasing adoption of smartphones, location-based social networks (LBSNs) and platforms gain widespread popularity. However, these context-aware applications also bring along new privacy concerns. Privacy practices now take place in a context in which multiple contextual factors define the interplay between the technology and user. In this article, we study this mutual shaping between LBSNs and mobile users’ privacy practices from a Science & Technology Studies perspective and following the work of Madeleine Akrich (1992). We explore how the user script, or the design and features of the LBSNs, can frame users’ privacy practices, but also how users invent new ways to manage their privacy beyond the embedded user script. A qualitative user study was conducted to study users’ location- sharing behaviour along the privacy-related user scripts (privacy scripts). In this study, couples of friends were asked to use and execute tasks with two different types of LBSNs. Results indicate that the privacy script of a technology influences users’ perceived control over their personal information. Although perceived control does not always reflect the actual control, this can mitigate privacy concerns, and as a consequence, also influence users’ privacy practices.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Location Based Services
ISSN: 1748-9725
Issue: 1
Volume: 9
Pagina's: 1-15
Jaar van publicatie:2015
  • Scopus Id: 84930930385
  • ORCID: /0000-0003-2112-6385/work/80583237