Theory and Application of the Privacy Regulation Model

Theory and Application of the Privacy Regulation Model

Jaakko T. Lehikoinen (Nokia Research Center, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-871-0.ch051
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Privacy is one of the most essential topics to be investigated when assessing user acceptance of new applications and services enabling disclosure of personal information. Mobility increases the demand on taking privacy into consideration when designing and developing these kinds of systems. This chapter presents a privacy management model, which facilitates evaluation of privacy aspects of communication technology. The applicability of the model is tested in a field trial that was carried out to assess user acceptance of a mobile social awareness system. Gathered evidence shows that the model helps researchers and designers to deal with privacy aspects of mobile technologies.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Privacy Features: Methods that are designed and implemented for users of computational systems to regulate their privacy in computer mediated communication.

Design Problem: An unsolved state or an issue that a system being designed needs to take into consideration.

Mobile Presence: A service that allows users to share their context information with other users. The context information may be automatically detected (e.g., location) or manually defined (e.g., text and image).

Qualitative Method: A research method that emphasizes meaning, quality, and context. A qualitative study can consist of, for example, interviews and observations. For instance, ethnographical studies consist of a set of different qualitative methods. Qualitative data can be, for instance, words, images, impressions, gestures, and tones (e.g., voice intensity).

Privacy Regulation: The act of determining and modifying what kind of interaction and to what extent an individual interacts with others, that is, usage of a set of control mechanisms.

Control Mechanism: A method that an individual uses to determine the level of social interaction with others. For example, verbal behavior in face-to-face context and access rights managements in the context of computer mediated communication control mechanisms.

Privacy: One of the most frequently used definitions of privacy by Alan Westin (1970) states: “Privacy is the claim of individuals to determine for themselves when, how and to what extent information about themselves is communicated to others.” This definition is applicable to many information technological contexts. One of the key elements of privacy is its dialectic nature.

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