Visible to the public Designing for PrivacyConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details

Performance Period

Mar 15, 2018 - Mar 15, 2023


University of California, Berkeley


National Security Agency

Ranked 71 out of 118 Group Projects in this group.
1787 related hits.

Methods, approaches, and tools to identify the correct conceptualization of privacy early in the design and engineering process are important. For example, early whole body imaging technology for airport security were analyzed by the Department of Homeland Security through a Privacy Impact Assessment, focusing on the collection of personally identifiable information finding that the images of persons' individual bodies were not detailed enough to constitute PII, and would not pose a privacy problem. Nevertheless, many citizens, policymakers, and organizations subsequently voiced strong privacy ob- jections: the conception of privacy as being about the collection of PII did not cover the types of privacy concerns raised by stakeholders, leading to expensive redesigns to ad- dress the correct concepts of privacy (such as having the system display an outline of a generic person rather than an image of the specific person being scanned). In this project, we will investigate current tools, methods and approaches being utilized by engineers and designers to identify and address privacy risks and harms.

To help address gaps and shortcomings that we find in current tools and approaches, we are adapting design research techniques--traditionally used to help designers and engineers to explore and define problem spaces in grounded, inductive, and generative ways--to specifically address privacy. This builds on a tradition of research termed "values in design," which seeks to identify values and create systems that better recognize and address them. Design methods, including card activities, design scenarios, design workbooks, and design probes, can be used by engineers or designers of systems, and/or can be used with other stakeholders of systems (such as end-users). These methods help foster discussion of values, chart the problem space of values, and are grounded by specific contexts or systems. These methods can be deployed during early ideation stages of a design process, during or after the design process as an analytical tool, or as part of training and educating. We suggest that design approaches can help explore and define the problem space of privacy and identify and define privacy risks (including, but also going beyond unauthorized use of data), leveraging the contextual integrity framework.

As part of this project, we are creating, testing, validating, and deploying a set of privacy-focused tools and approaches that can be used to help train engineers and designers to identify, define and analyze the privacy risks that need to be considered when designing a system, as part of privacy engineering.