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Participant information for QUT Research Project
Digital media, location awareness, and the politics of geodata
–Survey–

QUT Ethics Approval Number 1800000284

Research team

Principal researchers: 

  • Associate Professor Peta Mitchell, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
  • Professor Larissa Hjorth, RMIT University (RMIT)

Associate researchers

  • Dr Tim Highfield, University of Amsterdam
  • Professor Paul Dourish, University of California, Irvine
  • Dr Agnieszka Leszczynski, Western University, Ontario

Research staff

  • Dr Michelle Riedlinger, QUT
  • Nicki Hall, QUT

PhD student

  • Caitlin McGrane, RMIT

Description

This study investigates the ‘location awareness’ of Australian smartphone users: their understanding of the geodata they are creating and sharing, and how it is used, tracked, and valued by digital media services. You are invited to participate in this research project because you are a smartphone owner and user who is 18 years or older and you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or have resided in Australia on a working, studying, or family visa for at least six months.

Participation

Participation will involve completing an anonymous, online survey that will take approximately 15 minutes of your time.

To participate in the survey, please read carefully the information below, and click on the survey link at the bottom of this webpage.

Questions in the online survey will investigate the everyday choices you make in granting smartphone apps and services access to your location and the privacy considerations these choices raise for you.

Questions will include:

  • Which kind of smartphone do you currently own or use?
  • Which of the following common apps that use location-based services do you have installed on your phone?
  • How regularly do you use them?
  • What informed your choice to grant (or not grant) these apps access to your location?

If you agree to participate, you do not have to complete any question(s) you are uncomfortable answering. Your decision to participate or not participate will in no way impact upon your current or future relationship with QUT or RMIT.

If you do agree to participate, you can withdraw during your participation without comment or penalty by not submitting the survey. Any identifiable information already obtained from you will be destroyed.

You will be able to review your responses before submitting and save a copy of your responses after submitting the survey. Once your survey response is submitted, you cannot withdraw from the survey due to its anonymous nature.

At the end of the survey, you will be asked whether you are willing for us to contact you for a follow-up user study in certain sites around Australia. If you agree to this, you will be asked to submit an email address, which will not in any way be connected to your survey response.

Expected benefits

It is expected that this research project will not directly benefit you. However, you may benefit in the longer term from research that investigates the complex and growing role of location data—and its implications—in everyday digital media use. At a national level, this study project will intervene directly in public debates about everyday media use and data privacy, surveillance, and metadata retention. It will provide a clearer picture of the Australian public’s digital ‘location awareness’ and their understanding of the implications of everyday location sharing.

Risks

There are no risks beyond normal day-to-day living associated with your participation in this research project.

Privacy and confidentiality

All comments and responses are anonymous and will be treated confidentially unless required by law, or regulatory or monitoring bodies, such as the ethics committee. The names of individual persons are not required in any of the responses.

Any data collected as part of this research project will be stored securely as per QUT’s Management of research data policy.

Please note that non-identifiable data from this research project may be used as comparative data in future projects or stored on an open access database for secondary analysis.

The research project is funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects scheme and they will not have access to the data obtained during the project.

Consent to participate

Submitting the completed online survey is accepted as an indication of your consent to participate in this research project.

Questions/further information about the research project

If you have any questions or require further information please contact one of the listed researchers:

Concerns/complaints regarding the conduct of the research project

QUT is committed to research integrity and the ethical conduct of research projects. However, if you do have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the research project you may contact the QUT Research Ethics Advisory Team on 07 3138 5123 or email humanethics@qut.edu.au. The QUT Research Ethics Advisory Team is not connected with the research project and can facilitate a resolution to your concern in an impartial manner.

Thank you for helping with this research project.
Please click on the button below to participate.