Ethical Privacy Guidelines for Mobile Connectivity Measurements
41 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 7, 2013
The Internet is a highly complex and pervasive information environment. Everyday activities increasingly have an online component, from talking to friends and family, watching TV programs, dating, to interacting with government. To understand and make sense of the complex Internet architecture underpinning these activities, network researchers need to collect and share datasets regarding the measurements of the network, from detailed traces on an individual basis to aggregated data on a regional level. Data on individuals’ Internet behaviour will frequently contain sensitive information about the data subjects’ lives. On the other hand, data that only reveal an Internet users’ connection to a given point on the network is not necessarily privacy invasive.
The aim of these guidelines is to help researchers navigate the challenges of preserving the privacy of data subjects, publishing and disseminating datasets, while adhering to and advancing good scientific practice. These guidelines will help researchers assess the potential privacy risks and associated harms of a research project, and how these can be managed. They identify some of the common privacy problems that mobile networking researchers face, and offer ethical recommendations and considerations that need to be taken into account when designing a research project.
Keywords: Privacy, Mobile phones, Smartphones, Network Research, Ethics, Computer Science, De-identification, Re-identification, Anonymization, Data Collection, Data Processing, Data dissemination, Big Data
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