Won't users refuse to do this because they're afraid of their privacy being invaded?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Answered
This conversation is part of a series of posts related to our Sept 25th webinar, How Can iBeacons Help Your Business and How Are They Going to Change Everything?, hosted by Matthew Gast who recently authored a new book, Building Applications with iBeaconBuilding Proximity

Please weigh in on this conversation topic: "Won't users refuse to do this because they're afraid of their privacy being invaded?"
Photo of Amanda

Amanda

  • 396 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes

Posted 4 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Roman Kern

Roman Kern

  • 16 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I am not sure about the privacy part of it - most users simply have bluetooth turned off all the time anyway #iBeaconWebinar
Photo of Andrew Rosenau

Andrew Rosenau

  • 1 Post
  • 1 Reply Like
I think that is really an education issue. Since iBeacons do not receive they transmit only there is no privacy issues there. However when it comes to the applications there could be privacy issues there depending on how you write the app, but as long as you are upfront with that I think it will be fine. #iBeaconWebinar
Photo of Matthew Gast

Matthew Gast

  • 284 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
Your last sentence is a key point for the beacon ecosystem.  App stores have a key role to play in ensuring that apps clearly disclose their behavior, and may even want to prohibit certain practices.  This is an evolving space, and we don't have full clarity on what app stores will do, but I certainly hope to see clear rules about what is allowed and what is not.
Photo of Brian Torres

Brian Torres

  • 1 Post
  • 1 Reply Like
As with anything some may object but the rest of us get to benefit from location based triggers and apps! #iBeaconWebinar
Photo of Matthew Gast

Matthew Gast

  • 284 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
If you object, you can decide not to install apps, or (on iOS) disable location services.  iBeacons are inherently opt-in and if you don't like it, you can decide not to opt in.
Photo of Timothy De Gone

Timothy De Gone

  • 1 Post
  • 1 Reply Like
They could refuse to do this but if the privacy statement is descriptive enough and they understand what the beacon is being used for, they may be more inclined to use it.  It also depends on what benefits it provides the end user.  If the benefit outweighs the fear they will use it.
Photo of MacKay Crookston

MacKay Crookston

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I agree with this, making clear expectations up front can clear up a lot of issues. 
Photo of Matthew Gast

Matthew Gast

  • 284 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
...and the managers of app markets have an important role to play in making those expectations clear.
Photo of John Gill

John Gill

  • 7 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
I think you should be clear on your info you guy to end user to let them know that this is a send only tool. We dont want to be a facebook messager #iBeaconWebinar
Photo of MacKay Crookston

MacKay Crookston

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I think there will always be people who feel this way, but most people won't care. If people really realized how much they are already being tracked, monitored and recorded they wouldn't care about this type of technology. 
Photo of Jeffrey Gagen

Jeffrey Gagen

  • 2 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I think the key is to make the app attractive to make people want to use it. If people see value in it they will use it. Perhaps easier said than done.   #ibeaconwebinar
 
Photo of Matthew Gast

Matthew Gast

  • 284 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
:-) Yes, it's sort of like saying that being successful in business is a matter of having revenues higher than expenses.
Photo of Joel

Joel

  • 1 Post
  • 1 Reply Like
Absolutely! Someone like Facebook would simply grab every beacon it could get it's hands on just to upgrade their profile on you. #iBeaconWebinar
Photo of Matthew Gast

Matthew Gast

  • 284 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
It's not clear how valuable an iBeacon trail is.  You identify an iBeacon by its numbers, and if a service grabs an list of iBeacons visited, it still doesn't have location unless there is a way of mapping those iBeacons into locations.
Photo of Allen Fournier

Allen Fournier

  • 1 Post
  • 1 Reply Like
I see this being used for security checkpoints in the future.  It seems that the movie 'Minority Report' is coming closer to reality. #iBeaconWebinar
Photo of Matthew Gast

Matthew Gast

  • 284 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
You wouldn't want to use iBeacons for security checkpoints.  There is no cryptographic signature in iBeacons, so it is at best only a hint to the application to begin using a secure channel somewhere else for transaction support.
Photo of Jamie

Jamie

  • 1 Post
  • 1 Reply Like

Each person will be different. Some won't care about being tracked and would prefer getting discounts, while others would prefer to keep their privacy.


#iBeaconWebinar

Photo of Manoah Coenraad

Manoah Coenraad, Champ

  • 72 Posts
  • 67 Reply Likes
Absolutely! Privacy is a hot item at this moment. #iBeaconWebinar
Photo of Shaun Neal

Shaun Neal

  • 5 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
iBeacons are inherently opt in due to the app requirement (Matt covered this in preso), so those that are concerned enough about security to not use the solution need not worry.  Those that do opt in will likely find that the benefits outweigh small security risks.  All important data is transmitted over Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth.  #iBeaconWebinar
Photo of Matthew Gast

Matthew Gast

  • 284 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
In fact, there's really no data transmitted over Bluetooth.  The BLE component of iBeacon is the proximity ID (UUID/major/minor), but if you're building an app, anything that needs to be protected will be in a TLS tunnel.  The PayPal product is a good example of this - it uses Bluetooth to trigger a TLS connection that wraps the transaction.
Photo of Dennis McClain

Dennis McClain

  • 3 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
In theory, users should refuse to use iBeacons. However, today's average user is not as worried about privacy as the average IT professional. Consider the fact that social media and the location of the information on social media sites ("the cloud") can be compromised I doubt that the average user will be afraid of iBeacons. The people that will be afraid of iBeacons are the same people that are afraid of Facebook. As long as there are no serious security breaches (i.e. Target, Home Depot) during the early adoption of the technology I expect iBeacons technology and its supporting services to take off. That being said, I feel that the information collected, stored, and used should standardized. At least, those that participate will know what information (privacy) they are giving away. #iBeaconWebinar
Photo of Matthew Gast

Matthew Gast

  • 284 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
I wrote about the intersection of privacy and security for the O'Reilly emerging technology blog earlier this year: http://radar.oreilly.com/2014/04/ibeacons-privacy-and-security.html.  I think app stores have an often-unacknowledged role to play in ensuring that users accept the technology.
Photo of Adil

Adil

  • 2 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I think that most users will prefer to take the risk because if they don't they will be losing out on having access to important location based information :) #iBeaconWebinar