Gendered Perceptions of Positioning Technologies
Paper in proceedings, 2014
The aim of this study is to investigate gendered perceptions of three potentially privacy-invasive technologies relevant to daily mobility – video surveillance (CCTV), positioning via mobile phone, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags – via contrasting scenarios and items measuring factors such as acceptance and desirability. Gender analysis indicates that females may favor more anonymous forms of surveillance. Also, that females, to a lesser degree, find it appropriate to use technologies, are willing to search for information about or are willing to discuss the technologies. The interaction of parenthood and gender is also explored, where parenthood also proves to affect males and females differently, where female non-parents often perceive technological applications less favorably than do other groups by having heightened risk perception, lower trust, lower acceptance, etc. These results, combined with an overall lack of willingness to discuss with influential parties (elected representatives or relevant authorities or companies) and a lack of willingness to search for information about a technology regardless of ratings of acceptance or privacy-invasiveness, lead the authors to submit that the respondents, and perhaps females even more so, feel a sense of resignation towards technological development. This may have broad implications for decision-making and democratic processes, as perceived lack of influence and perceived lack of interest in participation feed back into each other, which may further divide laypersons from experts, companies, and authorities, and entrench the gendered nature of surveillance.