Interpersonal Privacy Management in Distributed Collaboration: Situational Characteristics and Interpretive Influences

  • Sameer Patil
  • Alfred Kobsa
  • Ajita John
  • Lynne S. Brotman
  • Doree Seligmann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5727)


To understand how collaborators reconcile the often conflicting needs of awareness and privacy, we studied a large software development project in a multinational corporation involving individuals at sites in the U.S. and India. We present a theoretical framework describing privacy management practices and their determinants that emerged from field visits, interviews, and questionnaire responses. The framework identifies five relevant situational characteristics: issue(s) under consideration, physical place(s) involved in interaction(s), temporal aspects, affordances and limitations presented by technology, and nature of relationships among parties. Each actor, in turn, interprets the situation based on several simultaneous influences: self, team, work site, organization, and cultural environment. This interpretation guides privacy management action(s). Past actions form a feedback loop refining and/or reinforcing the interpretive influences. The framework suggests that effective support for privacy management will require that designers follow a socio-technical approach incorporating a wider scope of situational and interpretive differences.


Privacy Awareness Distributed collaboration Privacy management 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sameer Patil
    • 1
  • Alfred Kobsa
    • 1
  • Ajita John
    • 2
  • Lynne S. Brotman
    • 2
  • Doree Seligmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Collaborative Applications ResearchAvaya LabsBasking RidgeUSA

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