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How Culture and Sociopolitical Tensions Might Influence People’s Acceptance of COVID-19 Control Measures That Use Individual-Level Georeferenced Data

Published: 20 July 2021
 by  MDPI
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information , Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ijgi10070490

Abstract: This study extends an earlier study in the United States and South Korea on people’s privacy concerns for and acceptance of COVID-19 control measures that use individual-level georeferenced data (IGD). Using a new dataset collected via an online survey in Hong Kong, we first examine the influence of culture and recent sociopolitical tensions on people’s privacy concerns for and acceptance of three types of COVID-19 control measures that use IGD: contact tracing, self-quarantine monitoring, and location disclosure. We then compare Hong Kong people’s views with the views of people in the United States and South Korea using the pooled data of the three study areas. The results indicate that, when compared to people in the United States and South Korea, people in Hong Kong have a lower acceptance rate for digital contact tracing and higher acceptance rates for self-quarantine monitoring using e-wristbands and location disclosure. Further, there is geographic heterogeneity in the age and gender differences in privacy concerns, perceived social benefits, and acceptance of COVID-19 control measures: young people (age < 24) and women in Hong Kong and South Korea have greater privacy concerns than men. Further, age and gender differences in privacy concerns, perceived social benefits, and acceptance of COVID-19 control measures in Hong Kong and South Korea are larger than those in the United States, and people in Hong Kong have the largest age and gender differences in privacy concerns, perceived social benefits, and acceptance of COVID-19 measures among the three study areas.
Keywords: COVID-19 / privacy / geoprivacy / contact tracing / self-quarantine / age and gender difference

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