Exploring Bystanders’ Privacy Concerns with Smart Homes in Jordan
Wael Albayaydh and Ivan Flechais
Smart homes continue to raise concerns about privacy and encroachment of businesses into intimate spaces. Prior research has focused on families and device owners in western contexts (Europe and North America), and has identified the importance of bystanders: individuals who are subjected to smart device use of others. Given the cultural and contextual aspects of accommodating bystanders, we identify a gap where bystanders in non-western societies have been insufficiently researched.
To address this we conduct 20 interviews with domestic workers and household employers in Jordan, exploring privacy attitudes and practices. Our analysis uncovers a complex interplay between religious and social norms; legal and regulatory perspectives on privacy; and tensions between households and their domestic workers. We explore issues arising from smart homes coexisting as a residence and workplace, and highlight how workplace protections are ill-suited. We structure our findings to help inform public awareness, policy makers, manufacturers, and future research.