Publication Details

Abbas, R. (2010). Location-based services: An examination of user attitudes and socio-ethical scenarios. ISTAS 2010: IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society: Social Implications of Emerging Technologies (pp. 357-365). IEEE.


The location-based services (LBS) industry is characterised by a multitude of vendors, all of whom assume a vital role in the provision of location solutions to their respective customer base. An attractive target audience is Gen Y consumers, recognised as being early adopters of the latest (mobile) technologies and possessing an influential role in family purchasing decisions. This paper presents and examines the outcomes of an observational study centred on the compilation of GPS data logs and accompanying diary entries for the aforementioned participant group. The emergent scenarios are reviewed, as are the attitudes of the participants. While the data logging devices were initially perceived as a novelty by participants, significant concerns emerged after further consideration and extensive utilisation of the devices. Such anxieties are specifically attributed to location and time inconsistencies, technological and device implementation issues, and general feelings of unease concerning the prospect of drawing inferences about individuals based on incomplete and inaccurate data sets. Suggested means of overcoming the ensuing issues are also considered.



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