Daily Archives: 2006-09-08

A Study on The Value of Location Privacy

There is a Workshop on Privacy in The Electronic Society taking place at the beginning of November. We (George Danezis, Marek Kumpost, Vashek Matyas, and me) will present there results of A Study on the value of Location Privacy we have conducted a half year back.

We questioned a sample of over 1200 people from five EU countries, and used tools from experimental psychology and economics to extract from them the value they attach to their location data. We compare this value across national groups, gender and technical awareness, but also the perceived difference between academic use and commercial exploitation. We provide some analysis of the self-selection bias of such a study, and look further at the valuation of location data over time using data from another experiment.

The countries we gathered the data from were Germany, Belgium, Greece, the Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic. As some of the countries have local currencies, we have re-calculated the values of bids in different countries by using a “value of money” coefficient computed as a ratio of average salaries and price levels in particular countries — this data was taken from Eurostat statistics.

We have gathered bids for three auctions or scenarios. The first and second bids were for one-month tracking. The former data were to be used for academic purposes only, and the latter for commercial purposes. The third bids were for the scenario where participants agreed with a year long tracking and data free for commercial exploitation. Let us start with the first bids.

Differences among Countries

The distributions of the first bids are on the following plot. Although there are differences between all nations, the Greek bids are beyond our expectations.

Distributions of bids in the first auction round.

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