User attitudes and behaviors toward personalized control of privacy settings on smartphones

Yun Zhou, Lianyong Qi, Alexander Raake, Tao Xu, Marta Piekarska, Xuyun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The fine-grained access control has been proved to be a reliable tool to ensure preserving of privacy of end users. In fog computing, one of the challenges is to understand users' attitudes and behaviors toward personalized control. However, few of studies have given a clear view on users' perception of the burden of interactivity when they set complex privacy settings. To this end, we conducted a user study including a lab study with 26 participants and an evaluation with 223 participants. From the lab study, we found that participants were satisfied with improved privacy settings but did not adapt well to complex personalized interfaces. We proposed effective methods to assist users to balance between the full control and the additional interaction burden, including sorting, recommendations, and establishing profiles. After this lab study, we organized a survey evaluation additionally to explore users' current usage of privacy features. Results from the evaluation showed that the principle reason that users failed to use privacy features was that they were not appropriately aware of these features. A key conclusion is that privacy settings should not only let users take over the control of smartphones but also inform them of the knowledge on privacy practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4884
Number of pages14
JournalConcurrency Computation Practice and Experience
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event9th International Symposium on Cyberspace Safety and Security (CSS) - Xian
Duration: 23 Oct 201725 Oct 2017


  • access control
  • fog computing
  • personalized privacy
  • smart phone
  • user study


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