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User Privacy Concerns and Preferences in Smart Buildings

Lookup NU author(s): Scott Harper, Dr Maryam Mehrnezhad, Dr John Mace


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Smart buildings are socio-technical systems that bring together building systems, IoT technology and occupants. A multitude of embedded sensors continually collect and share building data on a large scale which is used to understand and streamline daily operations. Much of this data is highly influenced by the presence of building occupants and could be used to monitor and track their location and activities. The combination of open accessibility to smart building data and stringentdata protection legislation such as the GDPR makes the privacy of smart building occupants a concern. Until now, little if any research exists on occupant privacy in work-based or commercial smart buildings. This paper begins to address this gap by reporting on a study conducted amongst occupants of a state-of-the-art commercial smart building to understandtheir privacy concerns and preferences. Our results show that the majority of the occupants are not familiar with the types of data being collected, that it is subtly related to them, nor the privacy risks associated with it. When we informed occupants about this data and the risks, they became more concerned and called for more transparency in the data collection process. The occupants were also largely averse to open accessibility of the collected data.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harper S, Mehrnezhad M, Mace JC

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 10th International Workshop on Socio-Technical Aspects in Security (STAST 2020)

Year of Conference: 2020

Online publication date: 17/09/2020

Acceptance date: 26/08/2020