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This paper describes the results of an experimental study in which older adult participants interacted with three monitoring technologies designed to support their ability to age in place in their own home - a camera, a stationary robot, and a mobile robot. The aim of our study was to evaluate users' perceptions of privacy and their tendencies to engage in privacy enhancing behaviors (PEBs) by comparing the three conditions. We found that privacy concerns lead older adults to change their behavior in a home environment while being monitored by cameras or embodied robots. We expected participants to engage in more PEBs when they interacted with a mobile robot, which provided embodied cues of ongoing monitoring; surprisingly, we found the opposite to be true - the camera was the condition in which participants performed more PEBs. We describe the results of quantitative and qualitative analyses of our survey, interview, and observational data and discuss the implications of our study for human-robot interaction, the study of privacy and technology, and the design of assistive robots for monitoring older adults.
Date of Conference: 5-8 March 2012