General area or approximate location? How people understand location permissions

Huiqing Fu*, Janne Lindqvist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

More than half of American adults use smartphones and about two thirds of them use location-based services. On Android smartphones, these location-based services are implemented by apps. Android phones provide two location-related permissions: "precise" location and "approximate" location. In this paper, we present an online survey of 106 Android users to investigate how people understand location descriptions related to their apps. Our results suggest that most participants considered the "precise" location to mean their exact location and the "approximate" location as a general area. This mental model of the "approximate" location seems to allay people's privacy concerns related to their apps. However, after participants were shown the ground truth of how accurate "approximate" location actually is, twice as many participants no longer thought "approximate" location offered enough protection, compared to before showing the ground truth. Our results indicate that the location permissions might mislead smartphone users about the privacy protections the apps are providing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages117-120
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450331487
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2014
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security - Scottsdale, United States
Duration: 3 Nov 20147 Nov 2014
Conference number: 13

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
ISSN (Print)1543-7221

Conference

ConferenceACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
Abbreviated titleACM CCS
CountryUnited States
CityScottsdale
Period03/11/201407/11/2014

Keywords

  • Android
  • Location permissions
  • Mental models
  • Privacy

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