Revealing Cumulative Risks in Online Personal Information: A Data Narrative Study

Nicol, Emma, Briggs, Jo, Moncur, Wendy, Htait, Amal, Carey, Daniel, Azzopardi, Leif and Schafer, Burkhard (2022) Revealing Cumulative Risks in Online Personal Information: A Data Narrative Study. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 6 (CSCW2). p. 323. ISSN 2573-0142

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When pieces from an individual's personal information available online are connected over time and across multiple platforms, this more complete digital trace can give unintended insights into their life and opinions. In a data narrative interview study with 26 currently employed participants, we examined risks and harms to individuals and employers when others joined the dots between their online information. We discuss the themes of visibility and self-disclosure, unintentional information leakage and digital privacy literacies constructed from our analysis. We contribute insights not only into people's difficulties in recalling and conceptualising their digital traces but of subsequently envisioning how their online information may be combined, or (re)identified across their traces and address a current gap in research by showing that awareness is lacking around the potential for personal information to be correlated by and made coherent to/by others, posing risks to individuals, employers, and even the state. We touch on inequalities of privacy, freedom and legitimacy that exist for different groups with regard to what they make (or feel compelled to make) available online and we contribute to current methodological work on the use of sketching to support visual sense making in data narrative interviews. We conclude by discussing the need for interventions that support personal reflection on the potential visibility of combined digital traces to spotlight hidden vulnerabilities, and promote more proactive action about what is shared and not shared online.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: 25th ACM Conference On Computer-Supported Cooperative Work And Social Computing, CSCW2022; Taipei, Taiwan, 12-16 Nov 2022
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human Computer Interaction, Research design, Cybersecurity, Personal data, Digital traces
Subjects: G500 Information Systems
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2022 14:29
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2022 09:30

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