Designing Usable Online Privacy Mechanisms: What Can We Learn from Real World Behaviour?

Periambal L. Coopamootoo and Debi Ashenden

A variety of privacy mechanisms have been designed for the online environment but they have not been effective in ensuring end-users’ privacy. In this study, we analyse existing privacy theories devised from offline socio-psychological studies and discuss which of those could be useful in the design of usable online privacy. We found that the Communication Privacy Management framework which provides boundary management processes could be used to design online privacy since it addresses information seeking, boundary rules formation, negotiation and means of addressing turbulence. We argue that since privacy is implicit within interpersonal and communication behaviour, a persuasive approach to designing online privacy could help to make privacy implicit within human-computer interactions, provide end-users with the ability to better engage with, and express their online privacy, and further ensure the usability of online privacy mechanisms.

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