Hawaii, here we come! We will present the paper “Understanding the Valuation of Location Privacy: a Crowdsourcing-Based Approach”, which was recently accepted to HICSS. The paper, written by Maija Poikela of the Quality and Usability Lab, TU Berlin, and by Eran Toch.

The paper aims to understand the price users are willing to accept for sharing their location information with smartphone apps. We have used Crowdee, a mobile crowdsourcing application, to suggest tasks with varying levels of location sharing configurations and with different aims. By analyzing which tasks users took and which ones they abandoned, we could regress on the break-even price for location sharing.

Here is the abstract of the paper:

The exchange of private information for services or other benefits is a commonplace practice today in the advent of mobile technology. In the case of mobile services, the exchanged commodity is increasingly often spatial location of the user. To decide whether this transaction is beneficial, the user needs to evaluate the exchange value of this commodity. To assess the value users give to their location, and to understand its relationship with location sharing, we conducted a study on a mobile crowdsourcing platform (N=190). We find that users’ valuation of location privacy is dependent on the sharing scenario. For instance, when the location is to be shared with an untrusted advertiser, the users require a premium as compensation for their information. Additionally, benefit perception and trust are found to be connected with more frequent location sharing, while perceived risks and privacy concern are associated with sharing one’s location less frequently.