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    Probing the Design Space of Usable Privacy Policies: A Qualitative Exploration of a Reimagined Privacy Policy

    HCI 2017 - Digital make-believe

    Proceedings of the 31st International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2017)

    University of Sunderland, St Peter’s campus, Sunderland, UK, 3 - 6 July 2017


    Rhianne Jones, Neelima Sailaja & Lianne Kerlin



    This paper explores the design space of privacy policies through the prototyping of a ‘reimagined’ privacy policy for a UK media service. Privacy policies notify potential users about the data practices of a service and, in principle, enable users to make informed decisions about how their data is used. In practice, they are routinely ineffective, by design. In response to the persistent problems with the effectiveness of privacy policies we develop a prototype of a ‘reimagined’ privacy policy for a UK media service. We conduct several workshops with stakeholders to explore the problems with existing policies and identify how they could better balance industry and user needs and use these findings to prototype a new interactive policy design for the service. Our prototype presents a new visual design and added options and controls for data exchange. We conduct an exploratory study with potential service users to explore how the prototype compares with an existing policy, eliciting feedback on the visual design and control options before facilitating a discussion about users’ past experiences and needs in relation to the policy design space. Findings from the pilot study show participants appreciated key elements of the new design and valued the new options for sharing data with service providers and restricting data collection and use - negotiating ‘degrees of consent’. Findings suggest people felt more empowered by the design and this improved their impression of the service provider in terms of openness, fairness and trustworthiness. The paper contributes to HCI by advancing our understanding of the potential of the design space to increase engagement with privacy policies and in the data exchange process. This paper does not promote this design per se as a solution but uses it as a vehicle to discuss the potential of reimagining the design space for policies.


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