Gwen Shaffer, ‘Tech Trek: Gauging Residents’ Comfort Levels with Smart Technologies through a “Datawalk”’

ABSTRACT
Using information collected from participants in a 1.5 mile ‘datawalk’ in West Long Beach, this study examines how residents feel about smart technologies that track their movements. Prior to the walk, 32 study participants accessed a custom mobile app that allowed them to map each smart technology observed, photograph it, and respond to several prompts regarding comfort level with each smart technology observed – including surveillance cameras, public WiFi routers and license plate readers. The study found that attitudes toward smart technologies varied depending on context (ie to protect property, for targeted ads). Comfort levels also fluctuated based on how transparent officials and businesses were about how they stored and used residents’ data. The study offers policy recommendations based on findings.

Shaffer, Gwen, Tech Trek: Gauging Residents’ Comfort Levels with Smart Technologies through a ‘Datawalk’ (August 10, 2021).

First posted 2021-08-13 10:00:54

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