Theme 1: Designing for Interactional Privacy

Summary by Heather Richter Lipford, Patrick Gage Kelley, Alessandra Mazzia & Alex Smolen

The group focused on design first focused on the various problems in designing for interactional privacy. We discussed two main aspects of privacy management – designs that give privacy awareness and notice, and designs that allow for interaction for control or restriction. One of the challenges is that there are not yet a large variety of artifacts for managing one’s privacy. Thus we brainstormed ideas that went beyond current mechanisms, such as scaring people about their privacy and making privacy fun.

As we continued our discussion we realized that the grand challenge we kept coming back to was how to embed privacy information and management into the interaction with the application itself. This is important because many current designs present privacy as a separate problem, to be managed through separate interfaces. This removes privacy from the context of the social interaction. We then discussed perhaps how social cues could aid in this, such as an overshare button. Finally, we came back to the point of the workshop – in considering interactional privacy we are concerned with more than just sharing too much information. The goal is to support social interactions, so sharing too much is a problem that may lead to regret, but so is a choice to share too little and have a lack of intimacy and the benefits of social technologies

In the afternoon, we began to discuss more ideas for solutions to this grand challenge of embedding privacy interaction into the application interaction. We took some inspiration from results that have shown that privacy concerns are often correlated with prior negative experiences. Thus, we spent some time discussing how to provide such negative experiences to increase privacy behaviors, yet without actually harming the users in the process. We discussed various applications that could creep people out – Firesheep is one current example. The recent iPhone location tracking news stories are another. There are a variety of data aggregator sites and applications as well. Its not clear whether or not these have had any impact yet on user behaviors.

We then spent much time discussing the challenges of researchers doing design. As privacy is contextual, embedding privacy within application interaction is also highly contextual. So how do we as researchers come up with novel designs and demonstrate their value? How do we get new designs evaluated, when that evaluation must happen within a very specific context? So in the end, we wanted to highlight that the solutions to privacy design are also a challenge – how to encourage both practitioners and researchers to investigate and share a variety of design ideas that improve interaction privacy.

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