Challenges of User-centric Privacy Enhancing Technologies


The GDPR promotes the principle of Privacy by Design and Default, acknowledging that the individual’s privacy is best protected if privacy law is complemented by privacy enhancing technologies (PETs). While technically advanced PETs have been researched and developed in the last four decades, challenges remain for making PETs and their configurations usable. In particular, PETs are often based on “crypto-magic” operations that are counterintuitive and for which no real-world analogies can be easily found.

This presentation presents human computer interaction challenges, end user perceptions and requirements for the design and configurations of PETs in compliance with the GDPR that we explored in recent European research projects. The presentation discusses cultural privacy aspects impacting the users’ preferences and trust in PETs, and it shows that users with technical knowledge may especially encounter challenges in understanding and trusting the protection claims of PETs. It concludes that for this reason, PET user interfaces should not only have to build on real-world analogies but also need to cater for digital world analogies that may impact the users’ understanding of PETs.

Sep 17, 2021 12:00 AM
Chalmersska huset

Simone Fischer-Hübner’s Honorary Doctorate Lecture.

Other honorary doctors will speak before and after Simone - feel free to attend the whole event 4pm-6pm! (If you attend in person, please do come at 4pm.)

Limited seats, register via to attend in person.