Trustball – Who do you Trust to Consent?

As part of the Edinburgh Festival, we have developed a public installation to explore issues of trust and consent in digital systems with the general public. Installed in the Design Informatics Pavilion “Data Pipe Dreams: Glimpses of a Near Future”, Trustball aims to playfully engage audiences with the fairly dry topic of agreeing to Terms and Conditions. We are all familiar with and are regularly signing up to new services, websites or apps online which prompt us to accept the Terms of Services (ToS). These have become increasingly complex and their details are often opaque to the user. A quick one-click act of consenting to complex legal jargon in a hidden fine print has become an accepted practice for most users.

   

Trustball aims to explore this moment and interaction of digital consent further and question how we might agree to ToS in the future. By playfully engaging audiences with a tangible, arcade-style game, we aim to reveal and challenge people’s ToS practices and explore potential novel practices of delegating consent. The flawed practice of individual’s accepting ToS without reading them has become common place but how can we move away from the individual’s responsibility of accepting consent? By exploring alternative models of consent and delegation, we ask if there could be other models of delegating consent and if so, who would you trust to understand the legal jargon and have your best interest at heart? Would you consider delegating this responsibility to someone else or would you want to remain in control? Who would you trust to advise and accept the right kind of ToS on your behalf – a friend, an expert, a group of people or a bot?

 

If you would like to play Trustball and see who you would trust with this playful interaction, you can find us outside the Assembly Rooms on 54 George Street in Edinburgh (EH2 2LR) from 2nd – 25th August 2018 (11am–6pm). If you would like to know more about Trustball or have any questions, please email bettina.nissen[at]ed.ac.uk.

Exploring Trust in Distributed Systems

We will be running a workshop as part of the DRS conference in Limerick on the 25th June 2018. This design workshop will be highly participatory with a short introduction to distributed systems followed by several group activities exploring trust in digital systems. We will investigate the changing trust relationships in existing centralised to more distributed systems using a wide selection of tangible materials. Using material affordances to represent different relationships and aspects of trust, participants will map relations between individual actors and organisations. Discussing and highlighting existing trust relationships and potential shifts emerging in distributed systems will raise questions around existing trust relationships in digital systems and how they emerge or manifest. Who do we trust and how do we build trust? What are the relationships between trust and aspects of transparency, control or convenience? What influences trust in digital relationships, and ultimately, what can the design community learn from this untangling of trust relationships in future distributed systems for novel forms of interactions? Using accessible, tangible tools in this workshop to investigate trust relationships will also offer insights into material affordances, their potentially representative nature of trust and their prospects of facilitating debate around various forms of relationships in distributed systems.

The workshop will take place on Monday 25th June 2018 from 14:00 – 17:30 at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Find more details about the workshop here or have a look at the overall conference programme on the Design Research Society website.

Keynote, Presentations and Demo at PerDis 2018

Members of the PACTMAN consortium represented the latest PACTMAN-related research at the 7th ACM Symposium on Pervasive Displays (PerDis 2018) in Munich, Germany.

Nigel Davies – Keynote at PerDis 2018

Nigel Davies was invited to give a keynote on “Saturated Display Environments”, introducing future research opportunities in the area of pervasive displays led by the trend and vision in which displays become truly ubiquitous and saturate the physical environment.

Mateusz Mikusz presenting work on helping students recall lecture content.

Mateusz Mikusz presented “Using Pervasive Displays to Aid Student Recall — Reflections on a Campus-Wide Trial“. This work formed the foundation and initial implementation for the PACTMAN-led display personalisation trial and specifically investigated the use of pervasive displays as part of an integrated learning environment to help students recall lecture content as they move across campus and walk by displays on their way to lectures, labs or colleges. The research on improving student recall was conducted as part of the PETRAS IoT Research Hub, the EU-funded FET7 project RECALL and PACTMAN.

Peter Shaw demonstrating display personalisation technology.

In the context of the display personalisation trial, Peter Shaw demonstrated the underlaying technology including the Tacita mobile application and corresponding display technology to participants of PerDis 2018. The demonstration sparked discussions for potential future collaborations with researchers from the pervasive displays community.

Jake Patterson presented SlideTalk, a piece of work conducted with Sarah Clinch on investigating new forms of smartphone-based interaction modalities specifically designed to improve user engagement and experience with public displays.

Retrieval-Induced Forgetting in the Real World – Work published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Researchers at the University of Essex have recently had their work accepted in the prestigious Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. This paper examines the contention that an end-of-day review could lead to augmentation in human memory and includes six Experiments.

In Experiment 1, participants were taken on a campus tour and shown a number of different to-be-remembered objects in different university locations (e.g. a printer in the Library). Each to-be-remembered object was presented with an associated specific comment (e.g. “This is the most used printer in the Library”). Participants were then shown the location name and photographs of half of the objects from half of the locations, and they were asked to try to name the object and recall the associated comment specific to each item. Following a filled delay, participants were presented with the name of each campus location and were asked to free recall the to-be-remembered objects. Relative to the recall from the unpracticed location categories, participants recalled the names of significantly more objects that they practiced (retrieval practice) and significantly fewer unpracticed objects from the practiced locations (retrieval-induced forgetting, RIF). These findings were replicated in Experiment 2 using a campus scavenger hunt in which participants selected their own stimuli from specified experimenter’s categories (e.g. Find 6 edible things, 6 orange things, etc.). Following an examination of factors that maximized the effects of RIF and retrieval practice in the laboratory (Experiment 3), we applied these findings to the campus scavenger hunt task to create different retrieval practice schedules to maximize and minimize recall of items based on experimenter-selected (Experiment 4) and participant-selected items using both category-cued free recall (Experiment 5) and item-specific cues (Experiment 6). The paper supports the claim that an interactive, end-of-day review could lead toaugmentation in human memory.

This work will also be presented by Prof. Geoff Ward in a Keynote speech given in June,2018, as part of the Summer School of the Swiss Graduate School for Cognition, Learning and Memory entitled: ‘Perspective on human Memory: Memory functioning and memory failures’.

A Participant’s Report of the PACTMAN ECR networking event

The PACTMAN project recently hosted the first of two networking and development events for PhD students and early career researchers. In this blog post, one of the attending research associates Naushin Nower reports her experiences…

The workshop provided a platform for attendees to present and explore the real world problems and solutions from interdisciplinary research (Computer science, Psychology, Law etc.) that concentrated in the areas of privacy, trust, identity, and security. Along with keynote speech from Dr. David De Roure, various other interactive workshops were organized to sharpen the state-of-the-art knowledge and to build a community by bringing UK-based young scientists together. Over thirty Ph.D. students and early career researchers participated from fifteen universities across the U.K. A further nine experts from across academia led the five interactive workshops.

Dr. David De Roure, Professor of e-Research at the University of Oxford, presented the keynote. As he explored multiple disciplines (social science, humanities, Internet of things and distributed systems and social computing), he provided an inspirational discussion about different aspects of the “social machine” and its relation with Internet of things (IoT). Defining social machines as any web-based socio-technical system where both human and machine are the participants, some common examples include Facebook, Twitter (social websites) and crowdsourcing sites where behaviour is constructed socially and website acts as an interface between human and machine. In contrast to these social machines that connect people, everyday IoT devices connect and interact with each other. The social machine can provide a framework for evaluating the benefits and risk of IoT by utilizing the thing learned from the social network. Since the social machine is already applied in social media, it can provide an opportunity for IoT as well, where the new social process, behaviour and unintended situations can be visualized.

 

Multiple interactive workshops on recent issues and emerging research related to privacy, trust, and security were arranged in the event, including “Does the GDPR help or hinder trust, identity, privacy, and security?” conducted by Dr. Tristan Henderson and Judith Rauhofer. This workshop was about the new data protection regulations and its prospects. The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be effected form 25 May 2018 and replaces the previous Data Protection Directive 95/46/ec.  It is intended to provide a better data protection and security by many stricter obligations on data. One of the core functionalities of GDPR is to protect personal data in global prospect. However, it seems that many new laws may create negative effects on personal data protection through excessive complexity and interpretative problems. For example, new requirements bring extra record maintaining obligations that contain personal data and as a result, impose additional security risk for keeping and maintaining personal data privacy. Furthermore, the legislation does not fit for the micro and small business situations. Finally, many small business services do not have strong security records for data privacy. These problems and existing challenges in GDPR will likely become important areas for exploration and design.

Tacita Display Personalisation Featured on Reuters

Tacita provides a novel framework to automatically adapt smart environments to the presence of users while still preserving their privacy. A robust and scalable implementation of the system has been rolled out at Lancaster and has been trialled on a campus-wide display testbed.

Tacita was featured by Reuters and a number of news outlets across the UK, India and United States. Reuters reporter and Head of Innovations, Jim Drury, met with PACTMAN and PETRAS researchers Nigel Davies and Mateusz Mikusz to discuss Tacita and the research behind the project.

The Tacita application is currently available on the Apple App Store at appstore.com/tacita. To find out more about Tacita, please visit the Personalised Displays Environment activity page or contact Nigel Davies, Peter Shaw, and Mateusz Mikusz.

This work was supported by the EPSRC under the PACTMAN and PETRAS research grants.

Exploring Temporalities of Consent

At the TIPS community building event in Preston in December 2017, we lead a workshop exploring the temporalities of consent by mapping out the relationships between different services and products a user may consent to over time. We investigated the potential relationships and connections between different services and how they might be influenced over time. This design workshop considered the life cycle and temporality of consent beyond the on-the-spot instance of a user agreement. This aimed to further understanding of how internal and external factors may affect user consent over time and throughout different aspects of user’s lives. Questions around how consent may be influenced by a user’s life circumstances as well as technological developments and legal requirements were creatively explored via a set of design cards and activities.

This workshop aimed to consider how more temporal or situation-specific forms of agreements may allow for more dynamically designed consent models. Moreover, the design activities aimed to expose and debate the relationships between different services, data and how they may develop over time. Changes in life circumstances may shift the way we view consent and what data we share. However, existing models of consent do not take this into account and services often do not allow a user to delete their account or the data that has been collected about them. So, what challenges for consent arise from changing circumstances in life and what are the relationships within such complex networks of shared data?

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Welcome to PACTMAN!

Welcome to PACTMAN: Trust, Privacy and Consent in Future Pervasive Environments. PACTMAN is an EPSRC-funded project on Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security in the Digital Economy.