Goal: Developing technical and policy implementations to address privacy challenges arising from use of wearable devices
Background and motivation: Rapid adoption of wearable devices have heightened privacy concerns because of their increasing dependence on users’ personal information. However, studies have found that users’ privacy settings on technologies do not reflect their privacy concerns. One reason for this paradoxical behavior is users’ low digital literacy; a limited knowledge about what technologies can actually do may create a nonchalant attitude about privacy settings. Wearable technologies continuously collect geo-location, habits, activities, and physical and emotional conditions, which could be potentially sensitive information. Since the mechanisms for data collection are complex and not overt to the user, companies collecting personal information have an advantage over consumers, reinforcing low digital literacy and impacting their customers’ inability to make informed decisions regarding the transmission of their personal information.
The goal of this research is to highlight the inadequacy of privacy principles in applying to wearable devices. I specifically highlights the cognitive problems of human decision-making and the importance of digital literacy. The paper introduces a proposal to test the role of digital literacy education on privacy concerns and behaviors.