Perceptions of Personal Privacy in Smart Home Technologies: Do User Assessments Vary Depending on the Research Method?

  • Wiktoria WilkowskaEmail author
  • Martina Ziefle
  • Simon Himmel
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9190)


Nowadays all Western societies are confronted with the challenges resulting from demographic change, which are (partially) manageable by technical innovations, ranging from sophisticated single devices up to Ambient Assisted Living. However, exceeding the threshold to people’s homes evokes diverse privacy concerns. In this paper, aspects of personal privacy are exposed and validated by three different research methods: focus groups, questionnaire, and an experimental study.

The results of the perceived relevance of privacy across the three methodologies showed a decrease of the attributed importance from the focus group to the hands-on experimental study and an increase of the variability of the data. In order to gain genuine exhaustive information about the user’s perceptions of (aspects of) new technologies it is therefore insufficient to rely on one single research method. Instead, a multi-method research approach is postulated.


Privacy Ambient assisted living Ehealth Multi-method research Focus groups Questionnaire Living-Lab study 



This work was funded by the Excellence initiative of German states and federal government. We would also like to thank Barbara Zaunbrecher for the valuable remarks on this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wiktoria Wilkowska
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martina Ziefle
    • 1
  • Simon Himmel
    • 1
  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction CenterAachenGermany

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