Why should we care? Indifference toward the locational data grabbing practices

Authors: Michal Rzeszewski*, Adam Mickiewicz University, Piotr Luczys, Adam Mickiewicz University
Topics: Geographic Thought, Cyberinfrastructure, Urban Geography
Keywords: social media, locational data, location-based services, surveilance anxiety, data grab, space and place
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Bayside A, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In our everyday life we are producing, or rather in most cases just generating, a constant stream of locational data. We consciously or unconsciously take part in what can be described as location-based digital culture in which human beings are commonly simplified into easily analyzed data points, open for grabbing practices (Fraser 2017). And even when we choose to opt-out, our digital absences are still shaping the ever changing landscape of spatially mediated interactions. In our research we assume that to properly function in a those digitally augmented realities people need to adopt diversified strategies of coping with the ever-present ‘surveillant anxiety’ (Crawford 2014) or ‘anxieties of control’ (Leszczynski 2016). In our research we explored the wide spectrum of possible attitudes toward locational data collection practices, software and services, using quantitative and qualitative surveys, field experiments and geosocial data analysis. We found that the prevailing attitude can be characterized as being neutral with a strong undertone of resignation, in which surrendering personal locational information is viewed as a part of the inevitable technological progress or as a form of digital currency. Much smaller number of people had stronger, emotional views either very positive or negative, based on uncritical technological enthusiasm or on unspecified anxieties and fear of privacy violation. It is quite possible that such a wide spectrum of attitudes is not only produced by the interaction with technology but also can be viewed as a result of different perception and values associated with space and place itself.

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