Is Downloading this App Consistent with my Values? Conceptualizing a Value-Centered Privacy Assistant

06/23/2021
by   Sarah E. Carter, et al.
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Digital privacy notices aim to provide users with information to make informed decisions. They are, however, fraught with difficulties. Instead, I propose that data privacy decisions can be understood as an expression of user values. To optimize this value expression, I further propose the creation of a value-centered privacy assistant (VcPA). Here, I preliminary explore how a VcPA could enhance user value expression by utilizing three user scenarios in the context of considering whether or not to download an environmental application, the OpenLitterMap app. These scenarios are conceptually constructed from established privacy user groups - the privacy fundamentalists; the privacy pragmatists; and the privacy unconcerned. I conclude that the VcPA best facilitates user value expression of the privacy fundamentalists. In contrast, the value expression of the privacy pragmatists and the privacy unconcerned could be enhanced or hindered depending on the context and their internal states. Possible implications for optimal VcPA design are also discussed. Following this initial conceptual exploration of VcPAs, further empirical research will be required to demonstrate the effectiveness of the VcPA system in real-world settings.

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