Project

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Dissuasive Techniques against Online Privacy Violations by Individuals

English title Dissuasive Techniques against Online Privacy Violations by Individuals
Applicant Huguenin Kévin
Number 190762
Funding scheme Spark
Research institution Institut des systèmes d'information (ISI) Université de Lausanne (HEC)
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Information Technology
Start/End 01.02.2020 - 31.01.2021
Approved amount 99'800.00
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Keywords (2)

persuasive computing; online privacy

Lay Summary (Italian)

Lead
La condivisione dei dati online ha conseguenze sulla privacy per gli utenti che li condividono, ma anche per le persone che sono direttamente o indirettamente coinvolte con i dati condivisi (ad esempio, le persone che compaiono su una foto). Questo progetto mira a progettare e testare interventi tecnologici per scoraggiare le persone che condividono dati online senza il consenso degli altri soggetti coinvolti.
Lay summary

Con l'avvento degli smartphone e dei social networks, le persone condividono online quantità crescenti di dati personali. La condivisione di dati personali online ha conseguenze sulla privacy non solo delle persone che condividono ma anche delle persone che ne sono indirettamente coinvolte. Per esempio una foto presa ad un party che ritrae più persone coinvolge tutti i soggetti rappresentati, i quali magari non vorrebbero ritrovare la propria foto online.

Per affrontare tali problemi di privacy, i ricercatori hanno proposto (tra le altre soluzioni tecniche e non tecniche) l'uso di meccanismi per influenzare le persone verso comportamenti più rispettosi della privacy, in genere per dissuadere le persone a condividere dati personali che potrebbero avere gravi conseguenze sulla loro privacy. Tuttavia, ad oggi, tali meccanismi non sono stati considerati per affrontare le violazioni della privacy commesse da individui contro altri individui.

L'obiettivo di questo progetto è esplorare l'uso di meccanismi per dissuadere le persone dal condividere online dati che possono avere implicazioni sulla privacy per altre persone senza averne ricevuto preventivamente l’autorizzazione. Durante questo progetto svilupperemo e testeremo l'efficacia di differenti sistemi di dissuasione (cosiddetti nudges).

Progetteremo e testeremo i nudges sotto forma di messaggi visualizzati agli utenti durante il processo di condivisione dei contenuti su una piattaforma online. I possibili approcci includono (ma non si limitano a): (i) sospensione dell’account del social network, (ii) minacce di punizione al di fuori della piattaforma (es. multe), (iii) sollecito all’empatia che aumentano la consapevolezza e generano riflessione sulle conseguenze delle azioni dell'utente per le vittime. Al fine di progettare tali messaggi, adotteremo un approccio incentrato sui dati e coinvolgeremo le persone attraverso pre-test, sondaggi sugli utenti ed esperimenti sugli utenti. Un altro contributo di questo progetto è quello di esaminare i meccanismi esistenti per le violazioni della privacy commesse da individui e confrontarli.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 16.12.2019

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Sharing data online has privacy consequences for the users who share it, but also for the individuals who are directly or indirectly related to the shared data (e.g., individuals who appear on a photo). This project aims at designing and testing technological interventions to discourage people from sharing data online without the consent of the other involved
Lay summary

With the advent of smartphones and online sharing platforms, including social networks, individuals share increasing amounts of personal data online. Sharing personal data online has privacy consequences for the users who share it, but also for the individuals who are directly or indirectly related to the shared data (e.g., individuals who appear on a photo); this constitutes privacy violations which severity spans from innocuous photo sharing to revenge pornography. To address such privacy issues, researchers have proposed (among other technical and non-technical solutions) the use of so-called privacy nudges, essentially mechanisms to influence individuals towards more privacy-preserving behaviors, typically to dissuade individuals to share personal data that would have severe implications on their privacy and life in general. Yet, to date, such mechanisms have not been considered to address privacy violations committed by individuals against other individuals. 

The goal of this project is to explore the use of nudges to dissuade individuals from sharing online, in a non-consensual way, personal data that can have privacy implications for other individuals. We will design and test the effectiveness of several technological interventions that will discourage uploaders from sharing personal data without the consent of all the other parties involved.

We will design and test nudges in the form of messages displayed to users during the process of sharing content on an online platform. Possible approaches include (but are not limited to): (i) threats of punishments confined on the platform that possibly rely on its social aspects, (ii) threats of punishment outside of the platform, (iii) empathic triggers raising awareness and generating reflection about the consequences of the user’s actions for the victims. In order to design such messages, we will take a data-centric approach and involve individuals through pre-tests, user surveys and user experiments. Another contribution of this project is to survey existing mechanisms for privacy violations committed by individuals and compare them.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 16.12.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Abstract

With the advent of smartphones and online sharing platforms, including social networks, individuals share increasing amounts of personal data online. Sharing personal data online has privacy consequences for the users who share it, but also for the individuals who are directly or indirectly related to the shared data (e.g., individuals who appear on a photo); this constitutes privacy violations which severity spans from innocuous photo sharing to revenge pornography. While the former privacy implications have received a lot of attention in the research community, the latter has received only little attention. To address such privacy issues, researchers have proposed (among other technical and non-technical solutions) the use of so-called privacy nudges, essentially mechanisms to influence individuals towards more privacy-preserving behaviors, typically to dissuade individuals to share personal data that would have severe implications on their privacy and life in general. Yet, to date, such mechanisms have not been considered to address privacy violations committed by individuals against other individuals. The goal of this project is to explore the use of nudges to dissuade individuals from sharing online, in a non-consensual way, personal data that can have privacy implications for other individuals. To do so, we propose to rely, among others, on the Theory of Planned Behavior for designing appropriate nudges through interventions, typically by using carefully crafted messages displayed to individuals in the process of sharing content online. The proposed approach is user-centric, involving individuals in the design and validation process through surveys (with storyboarding) and in-situ experiments (with prototyping). The requested grant aims at funding a post-doctoral researcher to conduct a preliminary exploratory study on the design and use of dissuasive techniques against online privacy violations by individuals-and to compare with existing techniques-,with the ultimate long-term goal to deploy and test (typically through AB testing) the proposed techniques in collaboration with a major online sharing platform (e.g., a social network platform, an online sharing platform for adult content).
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