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Peripheral Privacy Notifications for Wireless Networks

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2005, 00:00 authored by Braden Kowitz, Lorrie Cranor
When using wireless networks, some chats, web searches, and other information are broadcast out onto the local network. Other users on the same network may intercept and read this information. Unfortunately, without detailed knowledge of underlying technologies, many users are unable to properly evaluate the risks involved in everyday communication tasks. This study aims to develop techniques for allowing users without technical backgrounds to form more accurate expectations of privacy. We have developed a method for notifying users when their computer leaks such information. A large projected display placed in a common workplace shows excerpts from network traffic. A two-week trial was conducted to measure the effects of the display. Data was collected from network traffic monitoring and two paper surveys, which were conducted before and after the trial.