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WMG part of £1.4m EPSRC research project on user-centric and privacy-aware personal data management for leisure travellers

WMG, at the University of Warwick are partners in a £1.4m EPSRC funded research project addressing challenges about "Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security in the Digital Economy".


The project’s aim is to develop an innovative user-centric and privacy-aware digital platform that will empower leisure travellers to better manage the sharing of their personal data with travel service providers and other entities and foster new business opportunities for the travel and tourism industry through encouraging better (more transparent and effective) usage of travellers' data.

Developing the user-centric platform based on a holistic socio-technical framework of privacy-related traveller behaviour, it will provide intervention points to effectively nudge travellers to share their personal data more responsibly. The project draws from theories in social sciences, including consumer psychology and behavioural economics, to better explain how consumers make decisions to disclose personal information in exchange for values. Travellers' psychological limitation, such as limited understanding of privacy risks, which may induce irrational behaviour in privacy-related decision-making process while traveling, will also be considered.

In order to achieve its aim, the project’s research will be interdisciplinary, co-created, theory-informed, evidence-based, user-centric, and real world-facing. The project will combine both social and technical methods to collect and analyse data, integrating focus groups and interviews with relevant stakeholders, a panel survey, lab-based user studies, and field studies with real domestic and international travellers (end users) to identify and apply an array of effective nudging strategies to inform travellers with risks and consequences of sharing personal data while traveling.

Professor Jay Bal, the project’s Co PI said, “The rapid development of technologies such as smart phones, mobile payment systems, sharing economy (e.g., Airbnb and Offo), AI and service BOTs can drastically change the whole travel industry and people’s travel experience, with increasing concerns on privacy protection of traveller’s personal data. The project contributes to providing solid evidence to build a social-technical framework that will lead to a set of new tools benefiting both travellers and travel service providers. The WMG research involves building close alignment between the academic theory developed and the needs of commercial partners. We would also like to engage wider stakeholders, so if you are interested in contributing to the project please feel free to get in touch with us.”

PRIvacy-aware personal data management and Value Enhancement for Leisure Travellers (PriVELT)”, will be coordinated by the University of Kent and involved.a group of researchers working in five academic disciplines (Computer Science, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Psychology, Business, Law) at three UK universities (University of Kent, University of Surrey, and University of Warwick).

The project will work closely with a number of unfunded external partners who will contribute to the project in various ways. Such partners include China Travel Service, Crossword Cybersecurity Ltd, Expedia (International), HAT Community Foundation (HCF), International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT), NCC Group, PredicSis, and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The project is expected to start in October 2018 and will last for 36 months.

Image - International Manufacturing Centre at WMG, University of Warwick. Click image for high res.

Further information contact:

Luke Walton, International Press Manager

+44 (0) 7824 540 863

+44 (0) 2476 150 868

L dot Walton dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk