Chapter Twenty Four. Informed Consent by Design

Batya Friedman, Peyina Lin, and Jessica K. Miller

CONSUMER PRIVACY ATTITUDES HAVE SHIFTED SIGNIFICANTLY OVER THE PAST DECADE, from being a concern of a minority in the 1980s, to being a concern of the majority. As of 2001, more than three-quarters of Americans (77%) were “very concerned” about potential misuse of their personal information.[1] Consumers not only want to be informed about how their personal information will be used, but also want the opportunity to choose: 88% of Internet users would like “opt-in” privacy policies that require Internet companies to ask consumers for permission to share their personal information with others “always” (based on a four-tier scale from “never” to “always”). In addition, if consumers could choose not to have their personal information collected, 56% would “always” opt out, and 34% would “sometimes” opt out.[2]

While informed consent may not eliminate all privacy concerns for all groups, it can help to gain users’ trust by accurately articulating business practices for personal information and by allowing users autonomous choice.

How, then, might the information systems community design for informed consent? We take up that challenge here. Toward answering this question, we ground our work in the interactional theory and tripartite methodology of Value Sensitive Design.[3] , [4] , [5] Our approach integrates conceptual, technical, and empirical investigations. We consider the impact of information ...

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