Don’t Disturb My Circles! Boundary Preservation Is at the Center of Location-Sharing Concerns

author: Xinru Page, University of California, Irvine
published: July 6, 2012,   recorded: June 2012,   views: 2790


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Past research on location-sharing technologies and social media has uncovered many types of privacy concerns such as informational privacy, impression management and interactional privacy. We interviewed 21 users and nonusers of location-sharing technology and found that many of these privacy concerns are actually just symptoms of a higher-level motivation: the desire to preserve one’s existing offline relationship boundaries. We confirmed and generalized this finding through a nation-wide survey (N=1532) and path analysis. These results imply that designers of location-sharing systems should focus on preserving users’ relationship boundaries to address this cause of privacy concerns.

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