6th Annual International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services

Research Article

“I Can’t Lie Anymore!”: The Implications of Location Automation for Mobile Social Applications

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/ICST.MOBIQUITOUS2009.6847,
        author={Sami Vihavainen and Antti Oulasvirta and Risto Sarvas},
        title={“I Can’t Lie Anymore!”: The Implications of Location Automation for Mobile Social Applications},
        proceedings={6th Annual International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services},
        publisher={IEEE},
        proceedings_a={MOBIQUITOUS},
        year={2009},
        month={11},
        keywords={Automation human factors location information mobile social applications privacy user-centered design},
        doi={10.4108/ICST.MOBIQUITOUS2009.6847}
    }
    
  • Sami Vihavainen
    Antti Oulasvirta
    Risto Sarvas
    Year: 2009
    “I Can’t Lie Anymore!”: The Implications of Location Automation for Mobile Social Applications
    MOBIQUITOUS
    IEEE
    DOI: 10.4108/ICST.MOBIQUITOUS2009.6847
Sami Vihavainen1,*, Antti Oulasvirta2,*, Risto Sarvas2,*
  • 1: Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT / Helsinki University of Technology TKK, P.O. Box 9800, FIN-02015 HUT, FINLAND. Phone: +358 44348 2517
  • 2: Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT / Helsinki University of Technology TKK, P.O. Box 9800, FIN-02015 HUT, FINLAND
*Contact email: sami.vihavainen@hiit.fi, antti.oulasvirta@hiit.fi, risto.sarvas@hiit.fi

Abstract

Human factors research has shown that automation is a mixed blessing. It changes the role of the human in the loop with effects on understanding, errors, control, skill, vigilance, and ultimately trust and usefulness. We raise the issue that many current mobile applications involve mechanisms that surreptitiously collect and propagate location information among users and we provide results from the first systematic real world study of the matter. Our observations come from a case study of Jaiku, a mobile microblogging service that automates disclosure and diffusion of location information. Three user groups in Finland and California used Jaiku for several months. The results reveal issues related to control, understanding, emergent practices, and privacy. The results convey that unsuitable automated features can preclude use in a group. While one group found automated features useful, and another was indifferent toward it, the third group stopped using the application almost entirely. To conclude, we discuss the need for user-centered development of automated features in location-based services.