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Open access

Yousra Javed and Mohamed Shehab

Abstract

Habituation is a key factor behind the lack of attention towards permission authorization dialogs during third party application installation. Various solutions have been proposed to combat the problem of achieving attention switch towards permissions. However, users continue to ignore these dialogs, and authorize dangerous permissions, which leads to security and privacy breaches.

We leverage eye-tracking to approach this problem, and propose a mechanism for enforcing user attention towards application permissions before users are able to authorize them. We deactivate the dialog’s decision buttons initially, and use feedback from the eye-tracker to ensure that the user has looked at the permissions. After determining user attention, the buttons are activated. We implemented a prototype of our approach as a Chrome browser extension, and conducted a user study on Facebook’s application authorization dialogs. Using participants’ permission identification, eye-gaze fixations, and authorization decisions, we evaluate participants’ attention towards permissions. The participants who used our approach on authorization dialogs were able to identify the permissions better, compared to the rest of the participants, even after the habituation period. Their average number of eye-gaze fixations on the permission text was significantly higher than the other group participants. However, examining the rate in which participants denied a dangerous and unnecessary permission, the hypothesized increase from the control group to the treatment group was not statistically significant.

Open access

Emmanuel Bello-Ogunu and Mohamed Shehab

Abstract

Research shows that context is important to the privacy perceptions associated with technology. With Bluetooth Low Energy beacons, one of the latest technologies for providing proximity and indoor tracking, the current identifiers that characterize a beacon are not sufficient for ordinary users to make informed privacy decisions about the location information that could be shared. One solution would be to have standardized category and privacy labels, produced by beacon providers or an independent third-party. An alternative solution is to find an approach driven by users, for users. In this paper, we propose a novel crowdsourcing based approach to introduce elements of context in beacon encounters.We demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach through a user study, where participants use a crowd-based mobile app designed to collect beacon category and privacy information as a scavenger hunt game. Results show that our approach was effective in helping users label beacons according to the specific context of a given beacon encounter, as well as the privacy perceptions associated with it. This labeling was done with an accuracy of 92%, and with an acceptance rate of 82% of all recommended crowd labels. Lastly, we conclusively show how crowdsourcing for context can be used towards a user-centric framework for privacy management during beacon encounters.