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Bouwman, H., De Reuver, M., Heerschap, N., & Verkasalo, H. (2013). Opportunities and problems with automated data collection via smartphones. Mobile Media & Communication, 1(1), 63–68. https://doi.org/10.1177/2050157912464492


Through smartphone measurement software, researchers will be able to collect vast amounts of log data on the use of mobile media and applications. The present paper discusses the opportunities of smartphone measurement software in multi-method research, but also the ethical and methodological issues involved. We provide suggestions on how to deal with obvious privacy issues that arise from using smartphone measurement software. We also discuss how one can deal with sampling and selecting respondents. An illustrative study in which we applied smartphone measurement suggests that methodological and ethical issues can be overcome in practice, although doing so requires a great deal of effort. Still, collecting data through smartphone measurement is highly promising as both the quality and quantity of the resulting data is impressive.