Understanding and Improving Usability of Data Dashboards for Simplified Privacy Control of Voice Assistant Data (Extended Version)

10/06/2021 ∙ by Vandit Sharma, et al. ∙ 0

Today, intelligent voice assistant (VA) software like Amazon's Alexa, Google's Voice Assistant (GVA) and Apple's Siri have millions of users. These VAs often collect and analyze huge user data for improving their functionality. However, this collected data may contain sensitive information (e.g., personal voice recordings) that users might not feel comfortable sharing with others and might cause significant privacy concerns. To counter such concerns, service providers like Google present their users with a personal data dashboard (called `My Activity Dashboard'), allowing them to manage all voice assistant collected data. However, a real-world GVA-data driven understanding of user perceptions and preferences regarding this data (and data dashboards) remained relatively unexplored in prior research. To that end, in this work we focused on Google Voice Assistant (GVA) users and investigated the perceptions and preferences of GVA users regarding data and dashboard while grounding them in real GVA-collected user data. Specifically, we conducted an 80-participant survey-based user study to collect both generic perceptions regarding GVA usage as well as desired privacy preferences for a stratified sample of their GVA data. We show that most participants had superficial knowledge about the type of data collected by GVA. Worryingly, we found that participants felt uncomfortable sharing a non-trivial 17.7 dashboard, although useful, did not help long-time GVA users effectively manage their data privacy. Our real-data-driven study found that showing users even one sensitive data element can significantly improve the usability of data dashboards. To that end, we built a classifier that can detect sensitive data for data dashboard recommendations with a 95 improvement over baseline models.

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