The Public Good and Public Attitudes Toward Data Sharing Through IoT

23 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2022

See all articles by Karen Mossberger

Karen Mossberger

Arizona State University (ASU) School of Public Affairs

Seongkyung Cho

Duke Kunshan University

Pauline Cheong

Arizona State University, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

Date Written: August 7, 2022

Abstract

The Internet of Things has created a wealth of new data that is expected to deliver important benefits for IoT users and for society, including for the public good. Much of the literature has focused on data collection through individual adoption of IoT devices, and big data collection by companies with accompanying fears of data misuse. While citizens also increasingly produce data as they move about in public spaces, less is known about citizen support for data collection in smart city environments, or for data sharing for a variety of public-regarding purposes. Through a nationally representative survey of over 2,000 respondents as well as interviews, we explore the willingness of citizens to share their data with different parties and in various circumstances, using the contextual integrity framework, the literature on the 'publicness' of organizations, and public value creation. We describe the results of the survey across different uses, for data sharing from devices and for data collection in public spaces. We conduct multivariate regression to predict individual characteristics that influence attitudes toward use of IoT data for public purposes. Across different contexts, from half to 2/3 of survey respondents were willing to share data from their own IoT devices for public benefits, and 80-93% supported the use of sensors in public places for a variety of collective benefits. Yet government is less trusted with this data than other organizations with public purposes, such as universities, nonprofits and health care institutions. Trust in government, among other factors, was significantly related to data sharing and support for smart city data collection. Cultivating trust through transparent and responsible data stewardship will be important for future use of IoT data for public good.

Keywords: Internet of Things, smart cities, data sharing, public good

Suggested Citation

Mossberger, Karen and Cho, Seongkyung and Cheong, Pauline, The Public Good and Public Attitudes Toward Data Sharing Through IoT (August 7, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4183676 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4183676

Karen Mossberger (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) School of Public Affairs ( email )

School of Public Affairs
411 N Central Ave Suite 450
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

Seongkyung Cho

Duke Kunshan University ( email )

No. 8 Duke Avenue
Kunshan, Jiangsu 215316
China

Pauline Cheong

Arizona State University, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

950 S. Forest Mall
Tempe, AZ Arizona 8528
United States

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