Evaluating the Impact of Community Oversight for Managing Mobile Privacy and Security


Mamtaj Akter, Vanderbilt University; Madiha Tabassum and Nazmus Sakib Miazi, Northeastern University; Leena Alghamdi, University of Central Florida; Jess Kropczynski, University of Cincinnati; Pamela J. Wisniewski, Vanderbilt University; Heather Lipford, University of North Carolina, Charlotte


Mobile privacy and security can be a collaborative process where individuals seek advice and help from their trusted communities. To support such collective privacy and security management, we developed a mobile app for Community Oversight of Privacy and Security ("CO-oPS") that allows community members to review one another's apps installed and permissions granted to provide feedback. We conducted a four-week-long field study with 22 communities (101 participants) comprised of friends, families, or co-workers who installed the CO-oPS app on their phones. We found that community members reported significantly higher levels of transparency, trust, and awareness of one another's mobile privacy and security behaviors, along with increased individual and community participation in mobile privacy and security co-management, after using the CO-oPS app. Interview results show that the app features supported collective considerations of apps and permissions. However, participants expressed a range of concerns regarding having community members with different levels of technical expertise and knowledge regarding mobile privacy and security that can impact motivation to participate and perform oversight. Our study demonstrates the potential and challenges of community oversight mechanisms to support communities to work together to manage their mobile privacy and security.

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@inproceedings {289478,
author = {Mamtaj Akter and Madiha Tabassum and Nazmus Sakib Miazi and Leena Alghamdi and Jess Kropczynski and Pamela J. Wisniewski and Heather Lipford},
title = {Evaluating the Impact of Community Oversight for Managing Mobile Privacy and Security},
booktitle = {Nineteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2023)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-36-6},
address = {Anaheim, CA},
pages = {437--456},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2023/presentation/akter},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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