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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 13242
Consumers' privacy construction in sharing location information through smartphones
Author: Tikkanen, Jaakko
Title: Consumers' privacy construction in sharing location information through smartphones
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; tietojärjestelmät; information systems; mobiilitekniikka; mobile technology; palvelut; service; paikannus; posititoning; sijainti; location; kuluttajat; consumers; yksityisyys; privacy; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; mainonta; advertising
Pages: 46
Key terms: privacy construction; location-based services; mobile marketing; location-based advertising; consumer behaviour
Purpose of the study The purpose of this thesis is to study how consumers construct their privacy in terms of sharing their real-time location information through smartphones. Both active location sharing through social media applications and passive location sharing by allowing the continuous use of location tracking of the smartphone for applications are examined. In addition to this, the study intends to shed light on how to utilize the gained knowledge of privacy construction when designing location-based mobile marketing.

Methodology Qualitative research method was selected to study the fairly new phenomenon of location sharing through smartphones. The empirical research was conducted through 8 thematic interviews with Finnish consumers between the ages of 25-32 equipped with smartphones. The collected interview data was analyzed by applying content analysis in order to summarize the findings of the interviews.

Key findings Based on the study it can be assumed that consumers tend to conduct a risk-benefit analysis when deciding whether to disclose or conceal their real-time location information through their smartphones regardless of the delivery method of the location information. The prevailing themes regarding the privacy construction through the risk-benefit analysis revolved around concealing sensitive location information, concealing the location of one's home and personal control over the location information when minimizing the perceived risks. In addition to this the consumers tend to focus on disclosing in order to brag, disclosing for fun and disclosing for informative purposes when focusing on the benefit maximization. Based on the findings two prevailing themes need special attention when designing location-based advertising; consumer's personal control over the advertising and perceived gained benefit.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.