Privacy risks emerging from the adoption of innocuous wearable sensors in the mobile environment

  • Raij A
  • Ghosh A
  • Kumar S
 et al. 
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Wearable sensors are revolutionizing healthcare and science by enabling capture of physiological, psychological, and behavioral measurements in natural environments. However, these seemingly innocuous measurements can be used to infer potentially private behaviors such as stress, conversation, smoking, drinking, illicit drug usage, and others. We conducted a study to assess how concerned people are about disclosure of a variety of behaviors and contexts that are embedded in wearable sensor data. Our results show participants are most concerned about disclosures of conversation episodes and stress - inferences that are not yet widely publicized. These concerns are mediated by temporal and physical context associated with the data and the participant's personal stake in the data. Our results provide key guidance on the extent to which people understand the potential for harm and data characteristics researchers should focus on to reduce the perceived harm from such datasets.

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  • Andrew Raij

  • Animikh Ghosh

  • Santosh Kumar

  • Mani Srivastava

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