Locational Privacy in Public Spaces

de Souza e Silva, A., & Frith, J. (2010). Locational Privacy in Public Spaces: Media discourses on location-aware mobile technologies. Communication, Culture and Critique, 3(4), 503-525. DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-9137.2010.01083.x.

Abstract: This article analyzes 4 months of popular press articles from major publications about location-aware mobile phones. Our results identify 2 main areas: the control these devices offer over public spaces and the lack of control users have over their location information. This lack of control is often framed as a lack of privacy. We argue that the ability to control and personalize public spaces is not new because previous types of portable media already allowed users to manage interactions with public spaces. However, issues of privacy and control over public spaces are more pronounced with location-aware technologies. Our conclusions suggest that popular press discourses often overlook more complex social issues related to privacy in public spaces.