PACTMAN: Trust, Privacy and Consent in Future Pervasive Environments

An EPSRC-funded project on Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security in the Digital Economy.

We live in a world in which our ability to capture personal user data far exceeds our understanding of how to manage issues of trust, privacy and consent with potentially far-reaching consequences for both individuals and society. Without independent academic research in this space we run the risk of privacy and trust being sacrificed in the rush to commercially exploit these new sensing capabilities.

In this project we are conducting pioneering interdisciplinary research to create the world's first comprehensive system for privacy and consent management in future pervasive environments, i.e. environments with a wide range of sensing capabilities. Our work is informed by two scenarios - human memory augmentation and personalised information presentation. Both applications have the potential to transform key areas of our society yet raise significant privacy and consent issues that are likely to inhibit their deployment.

Our work involves multiple stakeholders including the NHS and the BBC that represent these application scenarios. The project is drawing on expertise from computer science, design and psychology to deliver both new models for consent and privacy and, a detailed understanding of the cognitive vulnerabilities of users of future pervasive environments, resulting in a prototype platform for privacy and consent management. In addition to delivering significant near-term benefits to our stakeholders, if successful PACTMAN has the potential to position the UK as an international leader in privacy and consent in future pervasive environments and to help catalyse the emergence of this important area of the digital economy.

Supporting Stimulation Needs in Dementia Care through Wall-Sized Displays

Sas , C., Davies, N., Clinch, S,. Shaw, P., Mikusz, M., Steeds, M., Nohrer, L. (2020) Supporting Stimulation Needs in Dementia Care through Wall-Sized Displays. Accepted into Workshop at The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2020) Following up on the deployment of the Wall-sized display that was installed into the […]

RECAPP-XPR: A smartphone application for presenting and recalling experimentally controlled stimuli over longer timescales

Cortis Mack, C., Harding, M., Davies, N., & Ward, G. (2019). RECAPP-XPR: A smartphone application for presenting and recalling experimentally controlled stimuli over longer timescales. Behavior research methods, 51(4), 1804-1823. Members from the PACTMAN team at University of Essex (Cathleen Cortis Mack and Geoff Ward) and Lancaster University (Mike Harding and Nigel Davies) have published […]

Technology-Induced Human Memory Degradation

Members of the PACTMAN consortium participated in the “CHI4EVIL: Creative Speculation on the Negative Effects of HCI Research” workshop at CHI 2019. Their paper explored the ways technology could induce memory degradation either as by product of a benevolent system or as a purposeful method of manipulating memory. The paper presented a design fiction where […]

Should I Agree? Delegating Consent Decisions Beyond the Individual

Bettina Nissen was presenting our paper “Should I Agree? Delegating Consent Decisions Beyond the Individual” about our study and findings from Trustball at CHI in Glasgow in May 2019. If you couldn’t make it there, please see further information about this project and talk here: download the slides with notes: Nissen CHI slides download the […]

Second PACTMAN PhD/early career researcher symposium

The PACTMAN members from Edinburgh have now hosted the second networking and development event for PhD students and early career researchers working in the TIPS (Trust, Identity, Privacy, and Security) space. The symposium was held at the Dovecot Studios in the heart of Edinburgh in early December. Dovecot Studios is a landmark centre for contemporary […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]