We explore mobile privacy through a survey and through usability evaluation of three privacy-preserving mobile applications. Our survey explores users' knowledge of privacy risks, as well as their attitudes and motivations to protect their privacy on mobile devices. We found that users have incomplete mental models of privacy risks associated with such devices. And, although participants believe they are primarily responsible for protecting their own privacy, there is a clear gap between their perceived privacy risks and the defenses they employ. For example, only 6% of participants use privacy-preserving applications on their mobile devices, but 83% are concerned about privacy. Our usability studies show that mobile privacy-preserving tools fail to fulfill fundamental usability goals such as learnability and intuitiveness- potential reasons for their low adoption rates. Through a better understanding of users' perception and attitude towards privacy risks, we aim to inform the design of privacy-preserving mobile applications. We look at these tools through users' eyes, and provide recommendations to improve their usability and increase user-acceptance.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1145/2836041.2836044
Conference 14th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia, MUM 2015
Assal, H. (Hala), Hurtado, S. (Stephanie), Imran, A. (Ahsan), & Chiasson, S. (2015). What's the deal with privacy apps? A comprehensive exploration of user perception and usability. Presented at the 14th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia, MUM 2015. doi:10.1145/2836041.2836044