Security but not for security’s sake: The impact of social considerations on app developers’ choices

Rauf, Irum; van der Linden, Dirk; Levine, Mark; Towse, John; Nuseibeh, Bashar and Rashid, Awais Security but not for security’s sake: The impact of social considerations on app developers’ choices. In: IEEE/ACM 42nd International Conference on Software Engineering Workshops (ICSEW'20), May 23--29, 2020, Seoul, Republic of Korea, IEEE/ACM.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3387940.3392230

URL: https://conf.researchr.org/home/icse-2020

Abstract

We explore a dataset of app developer reasoning to better understand the reasons that may inadvertently promote or demote app developers' prioritization of security. We identify a number of reasons: caring vs. fear of users, the impact of norms, and notions of 'otherness' and 'self' in terms of belonging to groups. Based on our preliminary findings, we propose an interdisciplinary research agenda to explore the impact of 'social identity (a psychological theory) on developers’ security rationales, and how this could be leveraged to guide developers towards making more secure choices.

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