Our ACM CHI 2021 paper addresses the question whether the recently proposed approach of concise privacy notices in apps and on websites is effective in raising user awareness. To assess the effectiveness in a realistic setting, we included concise notices in a fictitious but realistic fitness tracking app and asked participants recruited from an online panel to provide their feedback on the usability of the app as a cover story. Importantly, after giving feedback, users were also asked to recall the data practices described in the notices. The experimental setup included the variation of different levels of saliency and riskiness of the privacy notices. Based on a total sample of 2,274 participants, our findings indicate that concise privacy notices are indeed a promising approach to raise user awareness for privacy information when displayed in a salient way, especially in case the notices describe risky data practices. Our results may be helpful for regulators, user advocates and transparency-oriented companies in creating or enforcing better privacy transparency towards average users that do not read traditional privacy policies.
Preprint of the full paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.08021
App prototype presented to the user: https://privacy-bits.org/
Study material: https://osf.io/kam3y/