UNDERSTANDING USER PERSPECTIVES OF PERSONAL SAFETY APPLICATIONS ON MOBILE DEVICES
Chandok, Hasmeet Singh
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Personal safety applications on mobile devices have gained attention recently, and solu-tions have been developed with features such as fake calls, panic buttons, etc. However, little research has been done to understand how these applications can be used in an un-safe situation. In our research, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 30 partici-pants, and recorded their perceptions of using personal safety applications in three unsafe Scenarios. The unsafe Scenarios were varied in the level of the individual’s isolation and we asked participants about their perceptions of their personal safety and the actions that they would take both before and after installing a personal safety application on their phone. Most participants indicated that they would include a personal safety application as part of their collective response to unsafe situations. However, there was also re-sistance to solely relying upon an application, as participants did not trust that it would be effective and that they would be able to successfully use it in an unsafe situation. Fur-thermore, many participants were also concerned about privacy issues; whether the appli-cation was collecting and sharing their information. Based upon the findings, we have provided design recommendations for such applications.