Privacy Perceptions of Visual Sensing Devices: Effects of Users' Ability and Type of Sensing Device

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Caine, Kelly E.
Fisk, Arthur D.
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Homes that can collaborate with their residents rather than simply provide shelter are becoming a reality. These homes such as Georgia Techs Aware Home and MITs house_n can potentially provide support to their residents. Because aging adults may be faced with increasing mental and/or physical limitation(s) they may stand to benefit, in particular, from supports provided by these homes if they utilize the technologies they offer. However, the advanced technology in these aware homes often makes use of sensing devices that capture some kind of image-based information. Image-based information capture has previously been shown to elicit privacy concerns among users, and even lead to disuse of the system. The purpose of this study was to explore the privacy concerns that older adults had about a home equipped with visual sensing devices. Using a scenario-based structured interview approach I investigated how the type of images the home captures as well as the physical and mental health of the residents of the home affected privacy concerns as well as perceived benefits. In addition, responses to non-scenario-based open ended structured interview questions were used to gain an understanding of the characteristics of the influential variables. Results suggest that although most older adults express some concerns about using a visual sensing device in their home, the potential benefits of having such a device in specific circumstances outweigh their concerns. These findings have implications in privacy and technology acceptance theory as well as for designers of home based visual monitoring systems.
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