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Communications of the ACM

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People Avoiding Automatic Location Information in Mobile Services

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mobile location service

Credit: Loopt Inc.

Providers of fully automatic Web and mobile location information services will need to allow users to edit the information to get more people to use the features, according to researchers at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology. In a study on mobile services publishing of automatic location information, Sami Vihavainen, Antti Oulasvirta and Risto Sarvas discovered that users tend to embrace the features when they view them as useful and can easily control the information flow.

However, many users do not tell friends their location at a given moment because they think it is unnecessary. Users also think automation may provide misleading information, such as indicating they are in a bar when they are really working out in a gym in the same building. The researchers also believe that automation would have to meet the exact needs of the desired target group to attract more users.

From Helsinki University of Technology
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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