Transportation and privacy in the mobile age


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Director Lee Rainie will join other transporation researchers at a session of the Transportation Research Board that will examine consumer behavior and their attitudes about privacy in the age of mobile connectivity.

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  • The Rise of the e-Patient: Understanding Social Networks and Online Health Information-Seeking   Lee Rainie Director, Pew Internet & American Life Project  
  • Polls accessed at Roper Center
  • Transportation and privacy in the mobile age

    1. 1. Privacy in the digital age Public attitudes about personal information and the “veillances” Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet Project 1.25.12 Transportation Research Board Email: Twitter: @Lrainie
    2. 2. <ul><li>Backdrop for thinking about transportation and privacy in the digital age </li></ul>
    3. 3. Digital Revolution 1 Internet (83%) and Broadband at home (67%) 71% 67%
    4. 4. Digital Revolution 2 Mobile – 87% 327.6 Total U.S. population: 315.5 million
    5. 5. Digital Revolution 3 Social networking – 50% of all adults % of internet users
    6. 6. Location services <ul><li>6% of online adults use “check in” service like Foursquare/Gowalla </li></ul><ul><li>9% enable local information in social media posts like Facebook/Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>23% use mobile device for directions and finding out what’s nearby </li></ul><ul><li>??? have GPS devices (17% in 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>~10%-15% have electronic toll passes </li></ul>
    7. 7. Traffic - attitudes <ul><li>31% get stuck in traffic at least a couple of times a week </li></ul><ul><li>49% say traffic gotten worse in past 5 years and 54% expect it to get worse in next 5 years (vs. 38%/28% saying no change) </li></ul><ul><li>59% would pay higher tolls (HOT lanes) if it “saved them significant time” </li></ul>Reason/Rupe December 2001 poll
    8. 8. <ul><li>How Americans feel about privacy in the digital age </li></ul>
    9. 9. 1) A paradox lies at the heart of Americans’ views on privacy <ul><li>They cherish it as a right and principle … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80%-95% say they think it is very important, depending on question framing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… yet they often will act in their daily lives in ways that allow others to monitor and track them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50%-70% do so in their use of credit cards, preferred customer cards, online activities </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Paradox continued <ul><li>There is generalized anxiety about the consequences of inappropriate personal information disclosure…. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>84% concerned about businesses and people they don’t know getting personal information about them and their families </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>68% fear computer hackers getting their credit card information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>54% fear getting a computer virus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>68% of cloud application users ay they would be very concerned if companies who provided these services analyzed their information and then displayed ads to them based on their actions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… but not much certainty that actual harm has occurred </li></ul>
    11. 11. Paradox continued <ul><li>Many misunderstand what is going on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>59% mistakenly believe that the existence of a privacy policy means their info is kept private </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>64% have never searched for info about how to protect their privacy online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People care about privacy, but don’t opt out </li></ul><ul><li>Majorities don’t know tracking and sharing policies of websites </li></ul>Joseph Turow, Americans Online Privacy: The System is Broken “
    12. 12. 2) Privacy actually means three things to Americans <ul><li>Anonymity: In general, they are somewhat less concerned about that in the networked age. Tied to interactions with others. </li></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality: They want their data-minders to give them control over the use of their personal information. Tied to corporations and government. </li></ul><ul><li>Security: They want data-minders to protect them from data breaches and identity theft. Tied to ways others can cause them harm. </li></ul>
    13. 13. 3) Not all people feel the same about privacy problems [1] IBM-Harris Multi-National Consumer Privacy Study ,1999 [2] Public Records and the Responsible Use of Information , Opinion Research Corporation and Dr. Alan F. Westin, for the Center for Social and Legal Research, sponsored by ChoicePoint, Inc., 2000 1999 2003 Privacy Fundamentalist 25% 26% Privacy Pragmatist 54% 64% Privacy Unconcerned 22% 10%
    14. 14. 4) Not all information is created equal <ul><li>Most protective of … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children’s information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal and family secrets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most everything else is on the table for negotiation </li></ul>
    15. 15. 5) Context matters <ul><li>More people are willing to forego some privacy if the monitoring is aimed at fighting things like … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>child predators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>terrorists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other criminals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>making streets of bad drivers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to make public places safer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>---- </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comparisons of privacy vs. conferred benefits often see people favoring the benefits </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>Surveillance – powerful watch the ordinary </li></ul><ul><li>Sousveillance – ordinary watch powerful </li></ul><ul><li>Coveillance – peers stalk peers </li></ul>6) Three “veillances” affect people’s sense of what is happening around them
    17. 17. 7) Reputation management is a new part of people’s privacy calculations <ul><li>57% of online Americans search for information about themselves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>69% have searched for info about others they are going to meet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>44% have taken steps to limit information about themselves </li></ul><ul><li>71% of young adults who use social networking services changed their privacy settings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>41% of these SNS users check picture tags and ask for changes </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Implications for transportation <ul><li>Boundary between public and private is shifting in mobile age </li></ul><ul><li>People would like clear and simple explanations of what’s being done </li></ul><ul><li>They have an instinctive preference for “opt in” systems </li></ul><ul><li>They like convenience and efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>They worry about what can be held against them </li></ul><ul><li>and want rules to spell out how abusers will be punished </li></ul>
    19. 19. Thank you!