Understanding the values in the context of Wi-Fi access data

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For data-intensive research, Wi-Fi access data has become an important source since it’s low-cost, convenient and rich in information. It is mainly used to study people’s movement and then used to infer individuals’ or a group of people’s behavior pattern. The application of the research result is also common. It could be used to do interior positioning, crowd management, facility management and more. As the Global Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) became enforceable in 2018, it set strict rules for personal data collection and usage. Since Wi-Fi access data contains personal information and it’s hard to be anonymised for research purposes, GDPR brings more limitations for people like researchers when they deal with Wi-Fi access data. The GDPR triggers the development of a data platform in TU Delft, which aims at sharing data to researchers in a legal way. This data platform will legitimate the management of such personal data, helping the researchers to get and process the data in a GDPR-compliant way. Three stakeholders are involved in this context: the ICT Department as the data controller, researchers and designers as the data requester, and the students and employees in the TU campus as the data subject. All their values need to be taken seriously when developing the platform. Thus, the aim of the research is to bridge the gap between the stakeholder’s values and the implementations of the platform developers. Literature review is conducted first, discussing why ethics are important in platform design. Then the background information about Wi-Fi access data and GDPR are researched, so as an overview of the data platform. Then the research uses Friedman’s Value Sensitive Design methods to explore the values of different stakeholder entities. Methods like interview, questionnaire and generative session are used to collect the stakeholders’ insights. Then the insights are analysed, being defined as different values according to Schwartz’s theory of Basic Human Values. Then, a toolkit is designed through two minimum viable product (MVP) iterations. It communicates the values to the platform developers, then inspire them to come up with functionalities that fulfill the values. The form of the toolkit are two sets of cards. The first card set are ‘values cards’. On the frontside of each card, a defined value, a sub-value and one quote from the stakeholder that help to understand the value are shown. On the backside of each card, questions that help the developers to measure whether this value is met are asked. The second card set are ‘inspiration cards’. It shows one or more functionality that could be developed to fulfill each value, triggering the developers coming up with more tangible features. It is expected that the toolkit will be used in the group discussions when deciding what functionalities will be implemented into the platform, to speak for the absent stakeholders as well as to trigger discussion. Finally, the limitations of the research are discussed, the whole project is concluded and personal reflection is made.