Human-GDPR Interaction: Practical Experiences of Accessing Personal Data

Bowyer, Alex, Holt, Jack, Go Jefferies, Josephine, Wilson, Rob, Kirk, David and Smeddinck, Jan David (2022) Human-GDPR Interaction: Practical Experiences of Accessing Personal Data. In: CHI '22: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, pp. 1-19. ISBN 9781450391573

chi22_129.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview
Official URL:


In our data-centric world, most services rely on collecting and using personal data. The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims to enhance individuals’ control over their data, but its practical impact is not well understood. We present a 10-participant study, where each participant filed 4-5 data access requests. Through interviews accompanying these requests and discussions scrutinising returned data, it appears that GDPR falls short of its goals due to non-compliance and low-quality responses. Participants found their hopes to understand providers’ data practices or harness their own data unmet. This causes increased distrust without any subjective improvement in power, although more transparent providers do earn greater trust. We propose designing more effective, data-inclusive and open policies and data access systems to improve both customer relations and individual agency, and also that wider public use of GDPR rights could help with delivering accountability and motivating providers to improve data practices.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was funded by the EPSRC CDT in Digital Civics (EP/L016176/1). Data supporting this publication is available at Please contact Newcastle Research Data Service at for further information or access requests.
Uncontrolled Keywords: privacy, GDPR, information access, personal data, open data, data portability, human-data interaction, HDI, user empowerment, data collection, digital rights, trust, information literacy, participatory action research
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
G500 Information Systems
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2022 10:59
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2022 11:45

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics