Investigating the Use of a Simulator to Support Users in Anticipating Impact of Privacy Settings in Facebook
Proceedings of the 2014 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work
Association for Computing Machinery
One of the challenges faced by Facebook users is that privacy settings change not only the visibility of the information, but also impact actions other users can take on a piece of information. These actions on their turn can also create changes to the visibility of that piece of information, sometimes granting access to people originally unintended by the user who posted the information. In this paper we investigate how a simulator that allows users to explore the different situations that can result from privacy settings may support them in anticipating the impact of their decisions. To do so, we have implemented a privacy setting simulator prototype, and evaluated it through a qualitative case-study which involved 12 regular Facebook users. Our findings indicate that the simulator improved users understanding of the effects of their privacy settings and allowed them to identify misunderstandings they had about the visibility of their information.