How do people perceive the disclosure risk of maps? Examining the perceived disclosure risk of maps and its implications for geoprivacy protection

Junghwan Kim, Mei Po Kwan, Margaret C. Levenstein, Douglas B. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This research examines how people subjectively perceive the disclosure risk of a map using original data collected in an online survey with 856 participants. The results indicate that perceived disclosure risk increases as the amount of locational information displayed on a map increases. Compared to point-based maps, perceived disclosure risk is significantly lower for kernel density maps, convex hull maps, and standard deviational ellipse maps. The results also revealed that perceived disclosure risk is affected by map scale and the presence of information of other people on a map. For geomasking methods, perceived disclosure risk decreases as aggregation level increases and as relocation distance increases. However, aggregation methods (point to polygon) are more effective in preventing the re-identification of individuals when compared to relocation methods (point to point). Lastly, the perceived disclosure risk of a map that displays socially-vulnerable people is significantly higher than that of a map that displays non-vulnerable groups. Specifically, a map displaying the private locations of elementary school students has the highest perceived disclosure risk. Based on the results, a set of geoprivacy protection guidelines for mapping people’s private locations to minimize people’s perceived disclosure risk is proposed. Implications for mapping infectious diseases like the COVID-19 are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Disclosure risk
  • geomasking
  • geoprivacy
  • perception
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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