An Examination of People’s Privacy Concerns, Perceptions of Social Benefits, and Acceptance of COVID-19 Mitigation Measures that Harness Location Information

Rokwire cited in publication. 

A Comparative Study of the US and Korea

Kim, J. & Kwan, M. International Journal of Geo-Information. January 2021. DOI: 10.3390/ijgi10010025

Abstract: This paper examines people’s privacy concerns, perceptions of social benefits, and acceptance
of various COVID-19 control measures that harness location information using data collected
through an online survey in the U.S. and South Korea. The results indicate that people have higher
privacy concerns for methods that use more sensitive and private information. The results also
reveal that people’s perceptions of social benefits are low when their privacy concerns are high,
indicating a trade-off relationship between privacy concerns and perceived social benefits. Moreover,
the acceptance by South Koreans for most mitigation methods is significantly higher than that by
people in the U.S. Lastly, the regression results indicate that South Koreans (compared to people in
the U.S.) and people with a stronger collectivist orientation tend to have higher acceptance for the
control measures because they have lower privacy concerns and perceive greater social benefits for
the measures. These findings advance our understanding of the important role of geographic context
and culture as well as people’s experiences of the mitigation measures applied to control a previous
pandemic.

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