#OpenIT Spring 2014

Two Technologies in Practice researchers are taking part in this Spring’s OpenIT series, which are talks based on current research going on at the IT University. All lectures are open to the public as well as to members of different sections and research groups across the ITU.

March 14th Irina Shklovski

Leakiness and Creepiness in App Space: Perceptions of Privacy and Mobile
App Use

Mobile devices are playing an increasingly intimate role in everyday life. However, users can be surprised when informed of the data collection and distribution activities of apps they install. Essentially, at this stage in the development of personal information and communication technologies,
many people are essentially creeped out (or, if they knew, would be creeped out) by the information sharing behaviors of the applications and services which they have integrated into their daily lives. In this talk I will consider two studies of smartphone users in western European countries, in which users were confronted with app behaviors and their reactions assessed. Users felt their personal space had been violated in “creepy” ways. Using Altman’s notions of personal space and territoriality, and Nissenbaum¹s theory of contextual integrity, I will account for these emotional reactions and argue that they point to important underlying issues, even when users continue using apps they find creepy. Paying attention to the notion of “creepiness” allows us to consider a different interpretation of the difference between what people say they want and the behaviors they perform when it comes to privacy, a
contradiction that is often termed the privacy paradox.

Irina’s Leakiness and Creepiness paper, which you can read in full here, received  an honorable mention award at CHI 2014.

Friday May 9th 12:00. Auditorium 3, IT University Copenhagen.

Brit Ross WinthereikRecursive Partnerships and Infrastructures

How can agencies located in Denmark, in Japan, or in the United Kingdom know that money spent on projects in Vietnam or in India has been spent well? How can they know that their activities and projects in other parts of the world run smoothly and achieve their objectives? Casper Bruun Jensen and Brit Ross Winthereik explore these and many other questions in the monograph Monitoring Movements in Development Aid: Recursive Partnerships and Infrastructures (2013, MIT Press). Doing so, they conceive of the world of development aid as a problematic landscape, populated by multiple actors, provisionally tied together by diverse accountability practices that are mediated by information infrastructures.
Seen through the lenses of science and technology studies (STS), infrastructure studies and anthropology, infrastructure becomes a tricky empirical and analytical object; one that is crucial not only for international aid development projects but for the ways in which we imagine global modernization at large. In this talk, Brit Ross Winthereik focuses on some of the empirical and analytical challenges posed by global aid infrastructures. These are due not least to the fact that development partnerships constantly redefine the conditions for improving accountability, and thus for the infrastructures required to support it.
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