Privacy at a Glance: A Process to Learn Modular Privacy Icons During Web Browsing

Abstract

Privacy policies (PPs) are currently the only way to inform users about their rights and choices during web browsing and searching. However, users avoid engaging with them, because of their length and abstract legal language, which makes them hard to read and understand. We propose to support the understanding of PPs by using modular icons. Icons have already proven to be helpful in visualizing concepts with high information density. However, the value of using icons to supplement PPs lacks a scientific foundation. Thus, we conducted two studies to evaluate existing icon sets for their understandability and to teach participants their meaning in situ. We show that modular privacy icons can be taught using our process, which has the potential to aid quicker and easier comprehension of PPs. We contribute a set of tested modular privacy icons and a verified process on how to teach them to users incidentally during web browsing.

Publication
ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
Anna-Marie Ortloff
Anna-Marie Ortloff
Ph.D. Student