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Toggles, Dollar Signs, and Triangles: How to (In)Effectively Convey Privacy Choices with Icons and Link Texts

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conference contribution
posted on 22.07.2022, 20:14 authored by Hana HabibHana Habib, Yixin Zou, Yaxing Yao, Alessandro AcquistiAlessandro Acquisti, Lorrie CranorLorrie Cranor, Joel Reidenberg, Norman SadehNorman Sadeh, Florian Schaub

Increasingly, icons are being proposed to concisely convey privacy-related information and choices to users. However, complex privacy concepts can be difficult to communicate. We investigate which icons effectively signal the presence of privacy choices. In a series of user studies, we designed and evaluated icons and accompanying textual descriptions (link texts) conveying choice, opting-out, and sale of personal information — the latter an opt-out mandated by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). We identified icon-link text pairings that conveyed the presence of privacy choices without creating misconceptions, with a blue stylized toggle icon paired with “Privacy Options” performing best. The two CCPA-mandated link texts (“Do Not Sell My Personal Information” and “Do Not Sell My Info”) accurately communicated the presence of do-not-sell opt-outs with most icons. Our results provide insights for the design of privacy choice indicators and highlight the necessity of incorporating user testing into policy making.


Publisher Statement

Hana Habib, Yixin Zou, Yaxing Yao, Alessandro Acquisti, Lorrie Cranor, Joel Reidenberg, Norman Sadeh, and Florian Schaub. 2021. Toggles, Dollar Signs, and Triangles: How to (In)Effectively Convey Privacy Choices with Icons and Link Texts. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 63, 1–25. ©2021 Copyright held by the owner/author(s).



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