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Ethical Privacy Guidelines for Mobile Connectivity Measurements

41 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2013  

Bendert Zevenbergen

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Ian Brown

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Joss Wright

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

David Erdos

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; Trinity Hall

Date Written: November 7, 2013

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Zevenbergen, Bendert and Brown, Ian and Wright, Joss and Erdos, David, Ethical Privacy Guidelines for Mobile Connectivity Measurements (November 7, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2356824 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2356824

Bendert Zevenbergen (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Ian Brown

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford, OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/?id=117

Joss Wright

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

David Erdos

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.cam.ac.uk/people/academic/d-o-erdos/5972

Trinity Hall ( email )

University of Cambridge
Trinity Lane
Cambridge, CB2 1TJ
United Kingdom

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