Understanding How to Inform Blind and Low-Vision Users about Data Privacy through Privacy Question Answering Assistants


Yuanyuan Feng, University of Vermont; Abhilasha Ravichander, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Yaxing Yao, Virginia Tech; Shikun Zhang and Rex Chen, Carnegie Mellon University; Shomir Wilson, Pennsylvania State University; Norman Sadeh, Carnegie Mellon University


Understanding and managing data privacy in the digital world can be challenging for sighted users, let alone blind and low-vision (BLV) users. There is limited research on how BLV users, who have special accessibility needs, navigate data privacy, and how potential privacy tools could assist them. We conducted an in-depth qualitative study with 21 US BLV participants to understand their data privacy risk perception and mitigation, as well as their information behaviors related to data privacy. We also explored BLV users' attitudes towards potential privacy question answering (Q&A) assistants that enable them to better navigate data privacy information. We found that BLV users face heightened security and privacy risks, but their risk mitigation is often insufficient. They do not necessarily seek data privacy information but clearly recognize the benefits of a potential privacy Q&A assistant. They also expect privacy Q&A assistants to possess cross-platform compatibility, support multi-modality, and demonstrate robust functionality. Our study sheds light on BLV users' expectations when it comes to usability, accessibility, trust and equity issues regarding digital data privacy.

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.