The purpose of this paper is to describe some of the methodological challenges of investigating privacy and ubiquitous computing in the home, particularly among the healthy elderly.
The paper is based on focus groups with 60 senior citizens either living independently or in an assisted living facility. Prototypes of home‐based ubiquitous computing devices were created and deployed in a home‐like living lab setting; elders were brought to the lab to interact with the prototypes, then brought together in focus groups to discuss their insights and concerns.
Initial analyses suggest that extant metaphors of privacy may be inadequate for understanding pervasive computing in the home. Concepts of data, affective concerns, and the creation of appropriate prototypes for eliciting privacy are considered. Considerations for future studies of the elderly and privacy are made.
The homogeneity of the study population in terms of socioeconomic status, location, and community networks suggests that the study needs to be repeated with wider populations.
Although a number of projects and studies have examined the usability of home‐based ubiquitous computing and design for aging, there has been little integration of privacy and ethical concerns into general research discourse.
Shankar, K. (2010), "Pervasive computing and an aging populace: Methodological challenges for understanding privacy implications", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 236-248. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779961011071051Download as .RIS
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