Geomedia and privacy in context. Paradoxical behavior or the unwitting sharing of geodata with digital platforms?

Helena Atteneder, Bernhard Collini-Nocker


The increasing pervasiveness of media in society implies the ubiquitous processes of geodata-capture and real-time feedback. The concept of Geomedia considers these developments and raises the questions of geoprivacy and corporate surveillance. The aim of this study was to investigate what kinds of geolocation data are shared wittingly or unwittingly, and in what contexts. Beyond that, we ask how much individuals know about the data-sharing processes and the underlying commercial logic, and how they act upon this knowledge (whether paradoxically or not). Our study was theoretically framed by contextual privacy (Nissenbaum 2011), because we assumed that a violation of privacy is perceived differently according to the context. The quasi-experimental design (using a WiFi-capture device) combined with a questionnaire revealed the participants’ attitudes to, and awareness of, data sharing, and their understanding of geoprivacy and geomedia use. The main results show that people are aware of the underlying commercial logic, have privacy concerns and, strongly depending on contextual factors, their knowledge and capabilities, act upon this awareness. Finally, we show that smartphones covertly share a huge amount of meta and traffic data.


privacy, geoprivacy, geomedia, privacy paradox, permanent spatial connectivity, ubiquitous geodata capturing, corporate surveillance, awareness

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Data publikacji: 2019-06-26 08:58:23
Data złożenia artykułu: 2018-04-19 09:21:07


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