Visualisation and Other Methods of Expression (VOME)

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Holloway, University of London
Department Name: Mathematics


This research represents a multi-disciplinary and innovative approach to achieving assured privacy and informed consent. The proposal offers a new and highly original approach to addressing the requirement to engaging stakeholders in the debate about privacy and consent in identity management. The core of the research is multi-disciplinary and offers an integrated output from a range of disciplines (including social sciences, psychology, information security, information systems and management science) bringing together both qualitative and quantitative data to inform our understanding of privacy and consent requirements in an innovative way. One of the outputs of the research will be the development of a new methodological framework for undertaking cross disciplinary research. There are many instances now where the benefits of this type of approach are recognized but there are few methodological examples of how this can be achieved in practice. In summary, the programme of work involves identifying and enrolling large groups of research subjects onto the research project. The number of potential research subject is in excess of some 30,000 on-line service users. Some subjects will take part for the full duration of the three year project. This enables the research to achieve a longitudinal element by examining existing ways of expressing engagement with on-line privacy and consent issues and conducting action research to identify the best ways of extending that engagement through experimentation with a range of means of expression. The purpose of extending the user engagement is to make the privacy and consent decision making process more informative so that users are able to take more control over their choice of on-line services and how they use them. The result of the research will be conceptual models for expressing privacy and consent decision making that will be embedded within proto-type software which reflects the means of expression appropriate for a range of on-line communities. The proto products will be based on some of the methods of expression that are deployed in the earlier part of the work programme. At the end of the qualitative research phase a range of potential software products are selected on the basis of the qualitative research findings. A series of focus groups and other forms of user group engagement will be undertaken to ascertain which methods of expression would be the most appropriate basis for privacy and consent decision making software products and the form that software should take. The output will be small pieces of proto type software code which could be used to enhance existing on-line service software.


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Bella G (2011) Seeing the full picture : The case for extending security ceremony analysis in Proceedings of 9th Australian Information Security Management Conference

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Coles-Kemp L (2012) Community-centric engagement: lessons learned from privacy awareness intervention design in Proc of HCI 2012 The 26th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction. 2012.

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Coles-Kemp, L (2019) Making Digital TechnologyResearch Human: Learning from Clowning as a Social Research Intervention in Rivista Italiana di Studi sull'Umorismo RISU

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Reddington J (2011) Trap Hunting: Finding Personal Data Management Issues in Next Generation AAC Devices in Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies

Description We have developed methods for engagement with underserved (marginalised communities) in order to better understand their information sharing and protection practices. We have developed design principles for service providers to deploy when designing on-line services that require service users to submit personal information. We have design a game to help parents and teachers engage with children on the subject of on-line privacy.
Exploitation Route Our findings may be used by service providers to develop citizen-centered privacy features for public service delivery.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education

Description The design principles are the result of research into service design and the public sector. The VOME project developed design principles which are adopted by citizen-centered creative economy projects in the North East.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

Description Festival of Social Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In Sunderland and Middlesbrough the VOME project ran performance art events with performance artist Freya Stang. The purpose was to communicate the outcomes of the VOME research and engage in community dialogue. Between 50 and 100 people attended each event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2012