Location Privacy Preferences: A Survey-Based Analysis of Consumer Awareness, Trade-off and Decision-Making

Caitlin D. Cottrill, Piyushimita “Vonu” Thakuriah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


With the advent and rapid dissemination of location-sensing information technology, the issue of location information privacy is receiving growing attention. Perhaps of greatest concern is ensuring that potential users of mobile Information and Communications Technologies (e.g., Location-Based Services and Intelligent Transportation Systems) are comfortable with the levels of privacy protection afforded them, as well as with the benefits they will receive in return for providing private location information. This paper explores the concepts of privacy risks, benefits, willingness to trade, and compensation in relationship to mobile and locational technologies using a stated preference survey to ascertain areas of interest in determining the trade-offs that consumers will be willing to make in return for mobility enhancements. Analysis of the survey leads to findings that while respondents believe that sharing data in the mobile environment may pose privacy risks, they do not generally take steps necessary to address these risks; that privacy preferences are impacted by a range of factors, including both personal and contextual considerations (such as factors arising from their specific situation at the time of information seeking); and that willingness to trade private location data is dependent upon a number of factors related to context, personal characteristics, expected benefits and degree of trust in the collecting organization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-148
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Early online date17 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • location privacy
  • privacy-utility trade-off
  • willingness-to-trade privacy
  • risk


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