South Africa’s Quest for Smart Cities: Privacy Concerns of Digital Natives of Cape Town, South Africa

Valerie Mujinga Tshiani, Maureen Tanner
InSITE 2018  •  2018  •  pp. 918

[This Proceedings paper was revised and published in the 2018 issue of the Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning, Volume 14]

The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of awareness, perceived benefits, types of data collected and perceived control on the privacy concerns of digital natives living in what is considered the smart city of Cape Town, South Africa.

Smart city projects have been known to bring benefits such as sustainable economic development to cities. However one may wonder what and how certain factors influence the privacy concerns that come along with the implementation of smart cities particularly in the African context. In a time when information can be easily transferred, accessed and even shared, it is no surprise that people may have inclinations to be very protective of their personal information.

The study is quantitative in nature. Data has been collected using an online survey and analysed statistically.

This study contributes to scientific literature by detailing the impact of specific factors on the privacy concerns of citizens living in an African city

The findings reveal that the more impersonal data is collected by the Smart City of Cape Town, the lower the privacy concerns of the digital natives. The findings also show that higher the need of the digital natives to be aware of the security measure put in place by the city, the higher their privacy concerns

Practitioners (i.e. policy makers) should ensure that it is a legal requirement to have security measures in place to protect the privacy of the citizens while col-lecting data within the smart city of Cape Town. These regulations should be made public to appease any apprehensions from its citizens towards smart city implementations. Less personal data should also be collected on the citizens.

Researchers should further investigate issues related to privacy concerns in the context of African developing countries as they have unique cultural and philosophical perspectives that might influence how people perceive privacy.

Cities are becoming “smarter” and in developing world context like Africa, privacy issues might not have as a strong influence as is the case in the developing world.

Further qualitative studies should be conducted to better understand issues related to perceived benefits, perceived control, awareness of how data is collected and level of privacy concerns of digital natives in developing countries.

Smart Cities, Privacy Concerns, Digital Natives, South Africa
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