Oblivion on the Web: an Inquiry of User Needs and Technologies

Alexander Novotny, Sarah Spiekermann

Publikation: KonferenzbeitragKonferenzpapier

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Abstract

Unlimited retention of personal information on the web may harm individuals: employers can find youthful indiscretions on social media, and incorrectly low credit scores may haunt individuals for a lifetime. Currently, Europe revives the "right to erasure" as a first step towards a forgetting web. Early technologies implementing oblivion suffer from vulnerabilities and narrowly assume that users require information to be erased after a pre-determined time. But little is known about users' actual oblivion needs. A first study shows that users desire control over disclosed personal information to reduce pre-disclosure privacy concerns, and to delete harmful information after disclosure. In the long run, users have a need for dissociating from obsolete information that represents their past identity. A second study analyses whether oblivion-enhancing technologies (OETs) currently deployed in online services satisfy users' needs. While not all services give users assurance that disclosed information can be erased again, most provide users with some active control. But to manage the increasing volume of personal information stored, users would also require "intelligent" support with oblivion. Intelligent agents that keep track of disclosed information long-term could automatically safeguard users from information relating to a past episode in life surfacing unexpectedly. (authors' abstract)
OriginalspracheEnglisch
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Apr. 2014

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