It is well known that older adults continue to lag behind younger adults in terms of their breadth of uptake of digital technologies, amount and quality of engagement in these tools and ability to critically engage with the online world. Can these differences be explained by older adults’ distrust of digital technologies? Is trust, therefore, a critical design consideration for appealing to older adults? In this talk I will argue that while distrust is not, in fact, determinative of non-use and therefore does not explain these differences in tech usage, it is nonetheless key for designers to understand older adult distrust in developing socially responsible technologies.
Bran is a lecturer in the Data Science Institute at Lancaster University. Her research explores the social impacts of computing, with a particular interest in trust, privacy, and ethics. Her recent work has explored these issues at both ends of the age spectrum, with projects such as IoT4Kids, looking at the privacy, security and ethical issues of enabling children to programme IoT devices; and Mobile Age, looking at developing mobile apps for older adults. Bran currently serves as a member of the ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee.