Control of personal information in the digital space, and particularly on mobile devices, presents a unique design challenge. Most people aren’t aware that their personal data is being collected and shared. Many users don’t take the time to validate their expectations and most never read privacy policies, only becoming aware of such concerns when something happens that doesn’t meet their expectations—such as seeing their friend’s picture in a Facebook ad or seeing banner ads that match their most recent purchase.
When people do become aware and their expectations are violated, trust in the brand is eroded. We can leverage existing technology to create new experiences around personal data collection that are both transparent and provide control. But before we can begin to think about design solutions, we need to understand consumers’ current experience and expectations of how their personal information is handled and safeguarded. And our research has shown that the experience is currently riddled with misconceptions.