Location tracking: views from the older adult population

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Thomas, Lisa ; Little, Linda ; Briggs, Pamela ; McInnes, Lynn ; Jones, Emma ; Nicholson, James (2013)

Background: there has been a rise in the use of social media applications that allow people to see where friends, family and nearby services are located. Yet while uptake has been high for younger people, adoption by older adults is relatively slow, despite the potential health and social benefits. In this paper, we explore the barriers to acceptance of location-based services (LBS) in a community of older adults. \ud \ud Objective: to understand attitudes to LBS technologies in older adults. \ud \ud Methods: eighty-six older adults used LBS for 1-week and completed pre- and post-use questionnaires. Twenty available volunteers from the first study also completed in-depth interviews after their experience using the LBS technology. \ud \ud Results: the pre-use questionnaire identified perceptions of usefulness, individual privacy and visibility as predictive of intentions to use a location-tracking service. Post-use, perceived risk was the only factor to predict intention to use LBS. Interviews with participants revealed that LBS was primarily seen as an assistive technology and that issues of trust and privacy were important. \ud \ud Conclusion: the findings from this study suggest older adults struggle to see the benefits of LBS and have a number of privacy concerns likely to inhibit future uptake of location-tracking services and devices.
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