PACTMAN: Trust, Privacy and Consent in Future Pervasive Environments

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

Reframing electronic consent as delegation

Giving and obtaining consent in our increasingly digital worlds has become more and more complicated. "Your privacy is important to us!" or "By clicking you confirm that you read the terms and conditions". These are typical sentences commonly found on websites or when you download an app -- and described as the biggest lies on the internet. What are the alternatives to consenting to every bit of online data sharing individually? In PACTMAN we are looking into how we can reframe consent as delegation from an interdisciplinary perspective. Can consent in the form of electronic data permission management be delegated? What are the implication of this delegation process?

The most pending question for us was: Are people actually willing to delegate? The short answer is yes. With Trustball  we explored public attitudes towards this idea in different scenarios and with different delegation options. The long answer is more complex. You can read more about this in the 2019 CHI paper.

Building on this data and previous activities, we have been developing a consent intermediary called Consentifier. The Consentifier is a browser plug-in that can delegate out consent to different entities. After buliding the architecture, we are currently preparing new user studies to test the usability of delegating consent in this way.