In Boston? Eran will be giving a seminar at the Harvard EconCS (economics and computer science) seminar series. Friday, March 15 at 2:30 in Pierce Hall 213. I will be speaking about “The Value of Privacy in Mobile Crowdsourcing”, a work by Maija Poikela and Eran Toch.

More information here:


The Value of Privacy in Mobile Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing systems often include some negative externalities in the form of collecting and using sensitive data about their participants, such as their location. However, do workers care about these externalities, and do they take them into account when deciding to accept to reject a task? In this talk, we review the conflicting literature that tried to model the economic valuation of privacy. We then focus on mobile crowdsourcing as a test case that simplifies some of the experimental settings involved in privacy research. To assess the value users give to their location, and to understand its relationship with information sharing, we conducted a study on a mobile crowdsourcing platform. We quantify how 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. We then discuss how valuation-based approaches can help us better understand privacy concerns and ground theoretical notions of privacy to user behavior.