Social Informatics

Volume 7710 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 188-201

C4PS - Helping Facebookers Manage Their Privacy Settings

  • Thomas PaulAffiliated withCASED, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • , Martin StopczynskiAffiliated withCASED, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • , Daniel PuscherAffiliated withCASED, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • , Melanie VolkamerAffiliated withCASED, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • , Thorsten StrufeAffiliated withCASED, Technische Universität Darmstadt

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The ever increasing popularity of Online Social Networks has left a wealth of personal data on the web, accessible for broad and automatic retrieval. Protection from undesired recipients and harvesting by crawlers is implemented by access control, manually configured by the user in his privacy settings. Privacy unfriendly default settings and the user unfriendly privacy setting interfaces cause an unnoticed over-sharing. We propose C4PS - Colors for Privacy Settings, a concept for future privacy setting interfaces. We developed a mockup for privacy settings in Facebook as a proof of concept, applying color coding for different privacy visibilities, providing easy access to the privacy settings, and generally following common, well known practices. We evaluated this mockup in a lab study and show in the results that the new approach increases the usability significantly. Based on the results we provide a Firefox plug-in implementing C4PS for the new Facebook interface.