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Control yourself: on user control of privacy settings using personalization and privacy panel on smartphones

Zhou, Yun; Piekarska, Marta; Raake, Alexander; Xu, Tao; Wu, Xiaojun; Dong, Bei

FG Security in Telecommunications

The paper assesses the gap between actual and perceived privacy features of smartphones, exploring privacy as one decision-making factor in information protection, and the balance between privacy control and the required user interaction with the settings. We conducted a fine-grained evaluation partly based on the Privacy Panel, a protection solution on Firefox OS including features of Find my Device, Backup, Location Blurring, and Guest Mode. Results showed that safety as one decision-making factor impacted information protection in different use cases at different levels. Although people sacrifice more privacy as the price of a handset grows, they still see privacy as a factor of various significance with respect to context of finding back smartphone and selecting storage places. People were satisfied to use improved privacy settings but still did not well adapt to complex personalized interfaces. Sorting methods, recommendations and establishing profiles have shown to be feasible ways to assist users to balance between full control and the additional interaction burden when adjusting privacy settings in a complex app ecosystem.