Social Reading and PrivacySocial Reading and Privacy
The Aesthetic of Simplicity,The Aesthetic of Simplicity,
Online Reading, and InterfaceOnline Reading, and Interface
J. RichardJ. Richard
The Paradox of DataThe Paradox of Data
PrivacyPrivacyStudies show Americans are generallyStudies show Americans are generally
concerned about data privacy (Stevens, 2007;concerned about data privacy (Stevens, 2007;
Stutzman, 2006; Solove, 2004; Palen andStutzman, 2006; Solove, 2004; Palen and
Dourish, 2003) ...Dourish, 2003) ...
... but do little to protect their private data (boyd,... but do little to protect their private data (boyd,
2004; Gross and Acquisti, 2006; Jupiter2004; Gross and Acquisti, 2006; Jupiter
Research, 2002) ...Research, 2002) ...
... and continually adjust expectations to meet... and continually adjust expectations to meet
offered choices (Palen and Dourish, 2003;offered choices (Palen and Dourish, 2003;
Bennett, Raab & Regan, 2003; Friedman, 1997;Bennett, Raab & Regan, 2003; Friedman, 1997;
Murphy, 1964).Murphy, 1964).
Privacy DefinedPrivacy Defined
Solove (2007) argues:Solove (2007) argues:
““…… the quest for a traditional definition ofthe quest for a traditional definition of
privacy has led to a rather fruitless andprivacy has led to a rather fruitless and
unresolved debate. In the meantime, thereunresolved debate. In the meantime, there
are real problems that must be addressed,are real problems that must be addressed,
but they are either conflated or ignoredbut they are either conflated or ignored
because they do not fit into variousbecause they do not fit into various
prefabricated conceptions of privacyprefabricated conceptions of privacy”” (759).(759).
Privacy as reaction to technological innovationPrivacy as reaction to technological innovation
Privacy controversies as routinized moralPrivacy controversies as routinized moral
Privacy and ContextPrivacy and Context
Decisions concerning information disclosureDecisions concerning information disclosure
depend heavily on the circumstances, audiencedepend heavily on the circumstances, audience
and perceived implications of the potentialand perceived implications of the potential
disclosure (Rosen, 2000)disclosure (Rosen, 2000)
Privacy decisions are largely informed byPrivacy decisions are largely informed by
expectations, expectations that rely onexpectations, expectations that rely on
contextual cuescontextual cues
Online, context is communicated throughOnline, context is communicated through
design aesthetics and affordances.design aesthetics and affordances.
HCI and InterfaceHCI and Interface
Classic Human-Computer Interaction has historicallyClassic Human-Computer Interaction has historically
focused on usability, the effectiveness of design infocused on usability, the effectiveness of design in
allowing users to achieve their goals.allowing users to achieve their goals.
Usability is usually defined in terms of a lack ofUsability is usually defined in terms of a lack of
obstruction or complexityobstruction or complexity
Recent moves to examine aesthetics of interface asRecent moves to examine aesthetics of interface as
factors in encouraging particular behaviors.factors in encouraging particular behaviors.
Design aesthetics communicate context: sense ofDesign aesthetics communicate context: sense of
““placeplace”” (Harrison and Dourish 1996) and interface(Harrison and Dourish 1996) and interface
interpretations (Dourish and Button 1998) forinterpretations (Dourish and Button 1998) for
Privacy ExpectationsPrivacy Expectations
and Interface Designand Interface DesignInterface designs increasingly utilize affordances ofInterface designs increasingly utilize affordances of
simplicity to increase user confidence andsimplicity to increase user confidence and
Back-end architecture is increasingly complex,Back-end architecture is increasingly complex,
creatingcreating ““architectures of vulnerabilityarchitectures of vulnerability”” (Solove(Solove
Low user digital literacyLow user digital literacy
Increasing gulf between how tools APPEAR toIncreasing gulf between how tools APPEAR to
function to users and the actual functionality offunction to users and the actual functionality of
... the importance of interface design revolves around this... the importance of interface design revolves around this
apparent paradox: we live in a society that is increasinglyapparent paradox: we live in a society that is increasingly
shaped by events in cyberspace, and yet cyberspaceshaped by events in cyberspace, and yet cyberspace
remains, for all practical purposes, invisible, outside ourremains, for all practical purposes, invisible, outside our
perceptual grasp. Our only access to this parallel universeperceptual grasp. Our only access to this parallel universe
of zeros and ones runs through the conduit of theof zeros and ones runs through the conduit of the
computer interface, which means that the most dynamiccomputer interface, which means that the most dynamic
and innovative region of the modern word reveals itselfand innovative region of the modern word reveals itself
through the anonymous middlemen of interface designthrough the anonymous middlemen of interface design
(Johnson 1997, 19).(Johnson 1997, 19).
““As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is theAs far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the
productproduct”” (Raskin 2000, 5)(Raskin 2000, 5)
Hutchins et al.Hutchins et al.’’s (1986)s (1986) ““gulf of interpretationgulf of interpretation”” - difficulty of- difficulty of
interpreting systeminterpreting system’’s state as a response to a users state as a response to a user’’ss
Open GraphOpen Graph
Facebook protocol enablingFacebook protocol enabling ““frictionlessfrictionless
sharing,sharing,”” introduced September 2011.introduced September 2011.
First 9 weeks:First 9 weeks:
Yahoo Social Reader - 10 million usersYahoo Social Reader - 10 million users
The Guardian Social Reader - 4 million usersThe Guardian Social Reader - 4 million users
The Washington Post - 3.5 million usersThe Washington Post - 3.5 million users
Importance ofImportance of
In physical space, architecture createsIn physical space, architecture creates
psychological and social effects (Tuan 1977)psychological and social effects (Tuan 1977)
including altering individual conduct (Katyalincluding altering individual conduct (Katyal
““Information design makes informationInformation design makes information
understandable by giving it a context.understandable by giving it a context.
Information design builds new relationshipsInformation design builds new relationships
between thoughts and placesbetween thoughts and places”” (Mok 1996, 46).(Mok 1996, 46).
Washington Post SocialWashington Post Social
Reader PermissionsReader Permissions
Social Readers IncreaseSocial Readers Increase
Architectures ofArchitectures of
VulnerabilityVulnerabilityNews media organizations using social readerNews media organizations using social reader
exacerbate by appearing to offer content as anexacerbate by appearing to offer content as an
enticement for installing software.enticement for installing software.
““Okay, Read ArticleOkay, Read Article”” = install reader software,= install reader software,
become unpaid distributor of content for abecome unpaid distributor of content for a
media organization.media organization.
““CancelCancel”” = don= don’’t install, read article on websitet install, read article on website
Result: further undermining of user contextualResult: further undermining of user contextual
assessment, user surprise at results of choiceassessment, user surprise at results of choice
(if comparative results of choice options are(if comparative results of choice options are
even detected)even detected)
Jupiter study (2002) - 70% worry about privacy, only 40% even read privacy statements before handing over personal information to websites
Privacy controversies occur almost exclusively in reaction to new technologies and abilities
Affordances: “Okay, Read Article” = install software, broadcast reader choices (social reading) “Cancel” = read article on web site (private reading) “See what your friends are reading” = you already are, that’s how you got to this point. (“may” is particularly misleading given the sole purpose of the app is to perform the task it disclaims it “may” do, though whether “may” is supposed to convey a sense of possibility or permission is unclear).