Mobile Travelers Worry Over Privacy, Staying Charged

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 06-21-2012 Print Email
The need to have access to mobile computing devices is impacting the way Americans feel about travel, an Intel report finds.

American vacationers feel anxious when traveling without their mobile computing device and get angry when they cannot access power sources to charge these devices, according to Intel's Tech Norms for Travelers survey, commissioned by TNS to explore American attitudes towards travel and technology. Privacy, or lack thereof, is also a major point of annoyance for U.S. travellers, particularly peeping tech behavior that inclines random travellers to glance at the screens of connected devices, the report indicated.

Americans have a growing emotional attachment to their mobile devices, the report found, feeling calmer and less stressed when they have access to this type of technology while vacationing. Close to half (44 percent) of survey respondents said they feel anxious traveling without their mobile computing device, and a whopping 87 percent of young adults (18-29 years old) feel happier when traveling with their devices. Losing a wedding ring was far less stressful than losing a mobile computing device while traveling (55 percent versus 77 percent).

Mobile devices have moved firmly into the realm of fashion accessories, with 64 percent saying they consider their mobile computing device a personal style accessory, and (21 percent) admitted experiencing device envy, although women are more likely to succumb to this cool factor resentment than men (34 percent versus 22 percent). Technology has become so ingrained in travel culture that people are more likely to forgo creature comforts in search of a power outlet, such as choosing a restaurant or coffee house based on outlet availability (33 percent), searching public bathrooms (15 percent) or compromising comfort and hygiene to sit on the floor near an outlet (37 percent).

Mobile device security and privacy were top-of-mind concerns for U.S. travellers, with 46 percent citing worries that the device may be lost or stolen or someone glancing at their screen, a concern which rose to 62 percent among young adult travelers. Despite "peeping-techs" topping the list of travel peeves, more than half (51 percent) of young adults admit to peeping at someone else's screen while 33 percent of travelers admitted being a "peeping-tech."

Despite the paranoia (and self-admitted predilection towards peeping in on other mobile device users activities), 26 percent said they fail to take basic security precautions and admit to security risks including entering credit card details in public, using unsecured WiFi networks (free is free, right?), viewing sensitive documents on their device and even leaving their device unattended, according to the survey.

"With summer travel now in full swing, we find that many people have a few common must-have items on their trip packing lists Ultrabook, tablet and laptop. The bond between travelers and their tech devices has strengthened greatly over the past few years with the explosion of instant information, entertainment and services conveniently available on the Web," Mike Fard, Intel Ambassador, said in a prepared statement. "Gone are the days of travel as simple escape of 'daily life' as more people seek to enhance and share vacation experiences in real-time and use technology to truly make travel more fun and more memorable."



 

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