NCRN Meeting Spring 2016: Attitudes Towards Geolocation-Enabled Census Forms
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Geolocation refers to the automatic identification of the physical locations of Internet users. In an online survey experiment, we studied respondent reactions towards different types of geolocation. After coordinating with US Census Bureau researchers, we designed and administered a replica of a census form to a sample of respondents. We also created slightly different forms by manipulating the type of geolocation implemented. Using the IP address of each respondent, we approximated the geographical coordinates of the respondent and displayed this location on a map on the survey. Across different experimental conditions, we manipulated the map interface between the three interfaces on the Google Maps API: default road map, Satellite View, and Street View. We also provided either a specific, pinpointed location, or a set of two circles of 1- and 2-miles radius. Snapshots of responses were captured at every instant information was added, altered, or deleted by respondents when completing the survey. We measured willingness to provide information on the typical Census form, as well as privacy concerns associated with geolocation technologies and attitudes towards the use of online geographical maps to identify one’s exact current location.