TWC SBE: Option: Frontier: Collaborative: Towards Effective Web Privacy Notice and Choice: A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective

Natural language privacy policies have become a de facto standard to address expectations of notice and choice on the Web. Yet, there is ample evidence that users generally do not read these policies and that those who occasionally do struggle to understand what they read. This project offers the prospect of overcoming the limitations of current natural language privacy policies without imposing new requirements on website operators.

Start date: 9/1/2016
End date: 2/28/2018

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Did you read the privacy policy when you downloaded Pokemon GO? If you clicked “I agree” on the consent form for your newest app, do you know what you even agreed to? The trouble with many privacy policies is that most readers don’t read them or can’t understand them when they try.

UMSI Assistant Professor Florian Schaub is tackling user-friendly privacy notice formats through his research. In conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University, the National Science Foundation has awarded Professor Schaub $36,625 for his grant, “TWC SBE: Option: Frontier: Collaborative: Towards Effective Web Privacy Notice and Choice: A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective.” 

Evidence shows that most privacy policies are long, verbose and vague. The unintended consequence is that most users ignore these documents. Schaub’s research team will contribute to the development of privacy notice solutions that are tailored to the end-user and participate in user studies that inform the privacy notice and control solutions. 

His team will be working under Carnegie Mellon University’s nearly $3 million grant. This collaborative project hopes to develop an automatic way of scouring these policies in order to deliver the information in an easy-to-digest format that empowers the users of these apps, games, and software to make more informed privacy decisions. 

Grants

TWC SBE: Option: Frontier: Collaborative: Towards Effective Web Privacy Notice and Choice: A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective, National Science Foundation: $36,625

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"