Computer Privacy

Computer Privacy |
For Managing Information Systems |

C Potts10-26-2015 |

Privacy can be a key aspect of the user experience with computers, online systems, and new technologies. Knowing what to consider about users and their views of computer systems can only improve privacy mechanisms.
Privacy is emerging as a critical design element for interactive systems in areas as diverse as e-commerce, health care, office work, and personal communications. These systems face the same fundamental tension. On the one hand, personal information can be used to streamline interactions, facilitate communication, and improve services. On the other hand, this same information introduces risks, ranging from mere distractions to extreme threats. Government reports, essays, books, and media coverage testify on peoples’ concerns regarding the potential for abuse and general unease over the lack of control over a variety of computer systems. Similarly, application developers worry that privacy concerns can impair the acceptance and adoption of their systems. No end-to-end solutions exist to design privacy-respecting systems that cater to user concerns. This paper will show that researchers in Human–Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) can greatly improve the protection of individual’s personal information, because many of the threats and vulnerabilities associated with privacy originate from the interactions between the people using information systems, rather than the actual systems themselves. Approaching the topic of privacy can be daunting for the HCI practitioner, because the research literature on privacy is dispersed across multiple communities, including computer networking, systems, HCI, requirements engineering, management information systems (MIS), marketing, jurisprudence, and the social sciences. Even within HCI, the privacy literature is fairly spread out. Furthermore, many IT professionals have...