David Nguyen passes his PhD Defense

May 22nd, 2011  |  Published in News

On Friday May 20, 2011, David Nguyen successfully defended his thesis: Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Tracking and Recording Technologies in Everyday Life

Technologies and tools for electronic tracking and recording personal data have become easier to use, less expensive, and more pervasive in recent years. These tracking and recording technologies (TRTs) often work implicitly, in the background, without explicit effort nor full understanding on the part of the users (or those being tracked and recorded). Little is understood about how individuals make decisions about adoption or rejection of such implicit TRTs. A significant challenge then is to understand the processes by which the general public perceives and responds to these technologies, balanced along with their concerns for information privacy. Using multiple methods – interviews, the day reconstruction method, and paratyping, in concurrence with the deployment of a validated survey instrument for the concern for information privacy (CFIP) – this dissertation shows that participants are simultaneously highly concerned about information privacy and not always concerned about the specific technologies they use everyday that can track and record their personal data. There are three primary contributions in this dissertation. One, I catalog in situ perceptions and attitudes towards the concern for information privacy and TRTs. Two, by showing that traditional models of information privacy, such as CFIP, can be helpful but not sufficient to analyze the perceptions and attitudes towards TRTs, I identify the issues associated with applying the CFIP model to analyze TRTs. And three, I provide recommendations for the expansion of the CFIP model for use on TRTs.

David is the first PhD student to graduate from our group. Congratulations David! We look forward to the hooding on June 4!

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