Privacy Care: A Tangible Interaction Framework for Privacy Management

Mehta, Vikram; Gooch, Daniel; Bandara, Arosha; Price, Blaine and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2021). Privacy Care: A Tangible Interaction Framework for Privacy Management. ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, article no. 25.



The emergence of ubiquitous computing (UbiComp) environments has increased the risk of undesired access to individuals’ physical space or their information, anytime and anywhere, raising potentially serious privacy concerns. Individuals lack awareness and control of the vulnerabilities in everyday contexts, and need support and care in regulating disclosures to their physical and digital selves. Existing GUI-based solutions, however, often feel physically interruptive, socially disruptive, time consuming and cumbersome. To address such challenges, we investigate the user interaction experience and discuss the need for more tangible and embodied interactions for effective and seamless natural privacy management in everyday UbiComp settings. We propose the Privacy Care interaction framework that is rooted in the literature of privacy management and tangible computing. Keeping users at the centre, Awareness and Control are established as the core parts of our framework. This is supported with three interrelated interaction tenets: Direct, Ready-to-Hand and Contextual. Direct refers to intuitiveness through metaphor usage. Ready-to-Hand supports granularity, nonintrusiveness and ad-hoc management, through periphery-to-centre style attention transitions. Contextual supports customisation through modularity and configurability. Together, they aim to provide experience of an embodied privacy care with varied interactions that are calming and yet actively empowering. The framework provides designers of such care with a basis to refer to, to generate effective tangible tools for privacy management in everyday settings.

Through five semi-structured focus groups, we explore the privacy challenges faced by a sample set of 15 older adults (aged 60+) across their cyber-physical-social spaces. The results show conformity to our framework, demonstrating the relevance of the facets of the framework to the design of privacy management tools in everyday UbiComp contexts.

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