Published Jun 24, 2019


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Margarita Gamarra-Acosta, MSc

Ines Meriño-Fuentes, MSc

Juan Calabria-Sarmiento, MSc

Omar Gutierrez-Acosta, MSc

Mauricio Barrios-Barrios, MSc

Nallig Eduardo Leal-Narvaez, MSc

Pedro Mario Wightman-Rojas, PhD



Introduction: The use of mobile applications has increased in the last years. Most of them require the knowledge of the user location, either for their core service or for marketing purposes. Location-based services (LBS) offer context-based assistance to users based on their location. Although these applications ask the user for permission to use their location and even explain in detail how this information will be used in its terms and conditions, most users are not aware or even interested in the fact that their location information is stored in databases and monetized by selling it to third-party companies. Regarding this situation, we developed a study with the aim to assess perception, concerns and awareness from users about their location information. Methods: This work is based on an exploratory survey applied to the university community, mainly from the North Coast of Colombia, to measure the perception of location privacy of users with mobile devices. The questionnaire was applied using Google Forms. The survey has nineteen questions organized in three sections: personal information, identification of privacy and privacy management. These questions were designed to know the users’ perceptions of privacy concerns in LBS and any actions they take to preserve it. Results: The results show that, in general, the respondents do not have a real concern regarding the privacy of their geolocation data, and the majority is not willing to pay to protect their privacy. Conclusions: This type of surveys can generate awareness among participants about the use of their private information. The results expose in this paper can be used to create government policies and regulations by technology companies about the privacy management.


Location privacy, Privacy perception, Location-Based ServicesPrivacidad en la localización, Servicios basados en localización, Percepción de privacidad

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How to Cite
Gamarra-Acosta, M., Meriño-Fuentes, I., Calabria-Sarmiento, J., Gutierrez-Acosta, O., Barrios-Barrios, M., Leal-Narvaez, N. E., & Wightman-Rojas, P. M. (2019). Privacy perception in location-based services for mobile devices in the university community of the north coast of Colombia. Ingenieria Y Universidad, 23(1).
Electrical and computer engineering