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Security and Usability by Simson Garfinkel, Lorrie Faith Cranor

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Chapter Twenty Five. Social Approaches to End-User Privacy Management

Jeremy Goecks and Elizabeth D. Mynatt

THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO, THE EARLIEST HUMANS LIVED TOGETHER IN TRIBES. They hunted in bands to maximize their effectiveness, shared stories in the evening to entertain themselves, and migrated together to preserve and enhance the knowledge that a tribe had acquired over the years. Today, Internet and communication technologies make it possible for colleagues to collaborate over large distances, for extended families to share experiences via digital photos, and for multinational businesses to easily aggregate and utilize organizational knowledge.

These two snapshots of human society, taken at its dawn and at its present state, reveal the innate social nature of people and how they leverage this nature to beneficial ends. People work, learn, and play together. Every day, each individual engages in numerous social activities and processes with close friends and family, acquaintances, and strangers alike. Because social activities are woven into everyday life, people have substantial experience and expertise in employing social processes to meet various needs, from hearing about local news to learning new skills to acquiring advice for decision making. It makes sense, then, that users can benefit by leveraging social processes when they are managing their digital privacy.

In this chapter, we discuss how a software system can employ social processes to help end users manage their privacy. ...

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