The research area B.4 deals with privacy and trust in different contexts, in which other values collide or coincide with user interests for privacy. For example, these contexts can be crises where privacy often is in contradiction to pragmatic solutions for help using digital tools. In these contexts, different incentives collide and lead to complex user behaviors and decision making. At the same time, trust might by affected due to uncertainty or a dynamic course of events, which poses additional challenges for user collaboration in these contexts. Consequently, the goal of the research is to explore privacy and trust within these circumstances and find technical ways to support users to leverage information and communications technology (ICT). The main interest is settled in the context of crisis management and crisis informatics or in the context of critical (digital) infrastructures.
Current PhD project of subarea B.4:
Privacy and Trust in Value-Related Fields of Tension
The project deals with privacy and information and communications technology (ICT) use in environments in which trust is critical or affected by situational factors. These environments include crisis (e.g., flight and displacement) and disaster scenarios or in safety critical environments (e.g., critical infrastructure). The goal is to explore how user behavior and decision making is affected and how the advantages of ICT use can be supported without magnifying risks resulting from it.
Within the context of flight and displacement, smartphones and digital infrastructures can be empowering and valuable tools for their users to make informed decisions and to collaborate. At the same time, due to the vulnerability resulting from the context, users could be targeted by bad actors and suffer from severe consequences. Hence, privacy and trust are particularly important for these users. Further, the digital infrastructure might be instable which leads to special requirements and considerations for a trustful collaboration within these environments.