In The Wild Residual Data Research and Privacy

William Bradley Glisson, Tim Storer, Andrew Blyth, George Grispos, Matt Campbell

As the world becomes increasingly dependent on technology, researchers in both industry and academia endeavor to understand how technology is used, the impact it has on everyday life, the artifact life-cycle and overall integrations of digital information. In doing so, researchers are increasingly gathering 'real-world' or 'in-the-wild' residual data, obtained from a variety of sources, without the explicit consent of the original owners. This data gathering raises significant concerns regarding privacy, ethics and legislation, as well as practical considerations concerning investigator training, data storage, overall security and data disposal. This research surveys recent studies of residual data gathered in-the-wild and analyzes the challenges that were confronted. Amalgamating these insights, the research presents a compendium of practices for addressing the issues that can arise in-the-wild when conducting residual data research. The practices identified in this research can be used to critique current projects and assess the feasibility of proposed future research.

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