Surveillance Risks and Personal Benefits by Shopping Apps

In March 2017 we went to San Francisco to speak with people who used store branded loyalty apps or coupon apps.

Our hypothesis was that people would not understand what data apps gather about them, and once they did might feel that they were not getting a good deal by exchanging their data for coupons.

We were wrong.

Instead of outrage about the data gathered, our participants had positive feelings about how these apps was beneficial not only to themselves, but to their communities. None of the participants were surprised by their settings and the kinds of data they were sharing.

Everyone was familiar with their phones' privacy settings, and most people had one specific thing they opted out of, while sharing contacts and location with many apps.

Outcomes

Read a blog post about the loyalty app study.