The Burner Project: Privacy and Social Control in a Networked World

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Description

As mobile phones become increasingly ubiquitous in today’s world, academic and public audiences alike are curious about the interaction between mobile technologies and social norms. To investigate this phenomenon, I examined how individuals use technology to actively manage their communication behaviors. Through a three-month research project on usage patterns of Burner, a mobile application, this thesis explores the relationships among technology, culture, and privacy. Burner is a service that equips individuals with the means to create, maintain, and/or dissolve social ties by providing temporary, disposable numbers to customers. The application offers a way to communicate without relying on a user’s ... continued below

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vi, 141 pages : color illustrations

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Shade, Molly May 2015.

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This thesis is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 69 times . More information about this thesis can be viewed below.

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  • Shade, Molly

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Description

As mobile phones become increasingly ubiquitous in today’s world, academic and public audiences alike are curious about the interaction between mobile technologies and social norms. To investigate this phenomenon, I examined how individuals use technology to actively manage their communication behaviors. Through a three-month research project on usage patterns of Burner, a mobile application, this thesis explores the relationships among technology, culture, and privacy. Burner is a service that equips individuals with the means to create, maintain, and/or dissolve social ties by providing temporary, disposable numbers to customers. The application offers a way to communicate without relying on a user’s personal phone number. In other words, Burner acts as a “privacy layer” for mobile phones. It also provides a valuable platform to examine how customers use the application as a strategy for communication management. This thesis represents a marriage of practice and theory: (1) As an applied enterprise, the project was constructed as a customer needs assessment intending to examine how the service was situated in the lives of its users. The findings have successfully been applied to my client’s company strategy and have led to a more informed customer approach. (2) As an academic endeavor, this research contributes to existing scholarship in anthropology, computer-mediated communication, privacy, and design. The results provide rich fodder for discussions about the impact of mobile communication and services.

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vi, 141 pages : color illustrations

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • May 2015

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 9, 2016, 4:37 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Feb. 24, 2017, 1:12 p.m.

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Shade, Molly. The Burner Project: Privacy and Social Control in a Networked World, thesis, May 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801891/: accessed August 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .